Insiders on Twitter Who Are Engaging, Respectful and Relevant

Insiders in horse racing are prevalent on social media, as they should be. There are many different types of folks who work with and for the horses, or racetracks, just like there are different people in all walks of life. At times - and this is true for any business on social media - there is a fine line between being a shill for something, and supporting something, while doing it with aplomb. It's hard to do on social media, and in my view, it takes a lot of skill.

As well, horse racing has an odd customer view at times, being described as the lifeblood, vitally important, or a necessary nuisance. Falling into trap three can be real out there for some, and it can be swarming from those who think that way. 

Here's a list of a few insiders I see that converse with fans, bettors, or between themselves that I have been impressed with. This is by no means a complete list, of course; I am sure there are others that I am forgetting (I don't follow a ton of people, like the TVG folks etc). As well, this is from my perspective with my interests - betting, racing and the business of it.  You might prefer others, as well, because this is just a personal opinion.

Larry Collmus @larrycollmus - Larry is a well-known personality who gets tweeted to quite a bit, but he handles himself like a true pro. He is good-natured and gets to fans questions when he can. He seems to take his job and place in racing seriously and is a good ambassador for the sport on twitter. 

Pat Cummings @dubairacenight - Pat is willing to express an opinion, which might not be embraced by everyone - his view on camera angles for horse racing, or the tweet below - but he is usually effusive about it, and doesn't get into long, drawn out battles should you disagree. He usually has something interesting to say and is a classy fellow.

Travis Stone @travisstone - Travis is one of the more engaging folks you'll find on the twitter and is a pretty bright guy. Travis works for Churchill, which does not have the best brand when it comes to every day horseplayers, but you don't see him taking much flak for it, like you might think. Why? Because he's likeable and tweets some good stuff, in a professional way.

Tom LaMarra @jerseytom - If Tom tweets something he means it, and that resonates well with those of us who appreciate honestly in the media. Tom generally knows the in's and out's of the business, and if he sees something he disagrees with, he respectfully and without equivocation will share his thoughts. He's a good representative on SM for the Bloodhorse.

Ray Paulick @raypaulick - It's tough for an independent person like Ray to be super-authentic with his public views because he, like most, depends on advertising for his livelihood. When you follow him you don't really notice anything of the sort though, which is evidence that he's an honest broker. The news he tweets - oftentimes not even from his own website - is interesting, and you tend to learn something.

Bill Downes @billdownes1 - The track announcer at Indiana Downs is engaging, likes a variety of things, is active, and generally has good cheer. He's a handicapper too, and often gets into conversations about the game that some others may not have the ability to do.

Greg Blanchard @molson_gb - Greg is general manager of Western Fair Raceway and is one of the most passionate people I have ever met in the industry when it comes to trying to grow the bet. Greg will talk harness racing and the business of it with anyone, anytime, and it's done professionally and authentically.

Sid Fernando @sidfernando -  I speak with my twitter friend Sid from time to time on the phone, and you know what, what you see is what you get. If he says something about the business on twitter, he'll say it to you in person because it's what he believes. Sid is an expert on breeding, but he has a vast knowledge of all facets of the business, and he answers questions skilfully and with good cheer. A good representative for his craft and his business.

Craig Milkowski @timeformusfigs - Craig is the chief figure maker for TimeformUS and is a staple on the twitter since grabbing the gig. Craig shares his figures, answers questions about them, and handles himself well as a representative for Timeform. If he sees something he thinks is being done poorly in racing he will tweet about it, and respects differing opinions when answered.

Ken Middleton @middleton_WoMoh - Ken, the track announcer at Woodbine and Mohawk, is one of the best in engaging with fans you will ever see, bar none. Woodbine has been in my bad books because of their new pick 5 takeout (I am customer and handle growth-first, and don't apologize for it), but Ken (like Travis Stone) represents a classic example of not holding an employee to task on social media for something he/she has no control over. Ken is a super-good egg.

Being an insider in horse racing on twitter can be a monumentally tough task. Handles have been down by over a third, foal crops are down by a ton, customers have been leaving. Horse racing's current state is not one of growth and the masses tend to not tolerate a whole lot of insider sugar-coating. I think the above folks know full well about the troubles in horse racing, don't gloss over them, don't insult fans by arguing they don't exist, but they are keenly aware of their place in the game and handle themselves well. If you are new in the game, those are some folks I believe we can learn from.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what about @doubleplayball?---that guy is pure gold

regards, benny beam


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