The first reaction in board rooms around racing is "great idea, a big day for us to watch and get excited about". Inside baseball folks live for this stuff. It's warm and fuzzy and energizes us as fans - who are not the target market, but it's who racing appeases more often than not.
However, it smacks of bean counting to little old me.
As Godin wrote awhile back, what we're seeing is a tweak.
- The reason is that these [corporate benchmarks and doing something to do something] numbers demand that you start tweaking. You can tweak a website or tweak an accounts payable policy and make numbers go up, which is great, but it's not going to fundamentally change your business.
What makes it curious, is that Belmont Day is a day people already watch and bet - and further to that, if there is a Triple Crown on the line already has no-cost marketing.
Belmont Day is not broken.
Here are the google searches the last ten years for the Belmont Stakes.
It's actually (when you filter out Triple Crown years) growing.
With all those other stakes, all that slot money, all the possibilities, a virtual 365 day carte blanche, and all the assorted problems in horse racing, this is the best idea they could come up with; a tweak of an already branded raceday, that's entwined in racing's fabric?
For those of us who want slots money - which will likely be taken away soon - used on bold initiatives to create new markets, new days, used to test new ideas, to help racing move forward in some tangible way, this is truly disappointing.