Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Horse Racing's Value Prop

Hello people. I hope you're all managing your lives and loved ones in this crazy time we're living in.

With more time at home, it means more blogging, which six or seven of you probably care about, so here goes.

I read a book by Jonah Berger, a marketing professor, recently called The Catalyst. If you're interested in business, marketing or perhaps politics, it's a pretty decent read. (Warning - if you're right of center you might not like some of the analogy, but the principles can be politically flipped and they're strong arguments either way.)

I caught a podcast of his, and he talked about one part of his book - primarily a problem many have in the gig or creative economy: If you are doing great work and providing value, won't you eventually get noticed; noticed because people (i.e. the market) are always attracted to value?

He, as an academic, learned he could produce great work with tons of value, but that work would get lost in a sea of other academic work. It was never broadcast.

His examples on the other end of the sphere talked about fake news. Was it great to learn (wrongly) DJT's famous words that the coffers are brimming with Chinese money because tariffs are "tremendous"? That a reporter told you the MLK bust was removed from the White House? Nope, the value people get from it is through bias, and trying to strengthen their arguments (right or wrong) but certainly not providing value. This lack of value has not stopped fake news being broadcast, each and every day on our twitter feeds.

What's interesting to me is that with just about anything - a start up, a music release, a new self-published book, art or photography, he's totally right. It's an uphill struggle no matter how valuable you are. We, if we're a writer or new business, have to have a great product that provides great value, but it's more than that. It needs a push, through marketing and otherwise.

That may fly in the face of what you read on the blog here about many of our views of wagering on horse racing. We often type or twitter - provide value to bettors and racing will grow.

Are we all wet? He's the marketing prof and I'm a nobody after all.

I think we're talking about two different things, because wagering is a different beast.

If we provide betting value to customers - deep fields, attractive bets, great takeout - it's pretty much all we need to do, because value is the giving away of money to smart people who are searching for it. What they seek, they will eventually find. Every bettor, in any game, is searching for a chance at profit. It's their 100% focus.

There's some value left in online poker (not much, but with more "fish" during the COVID outbreak some) and that has suddenly attracted more volume.

There's some value in DFS, and League of Legends is attracting a $300k tournament this weekend. Our old pal Multiracewagers sent me a note that he was diving into learning League of Legends to play these tournaments. Seriously.

Horse racing possesses a value mechanism already. It's called the betting pools.

If racing makes the wagering better, more affordable, easy to use and lower cost, we won't need multi-million dollar marketing plans; Triple Crown winners, hit movies or to be on cereal boxes; fake news or real news or news from Mars. Unlike so many other businesses, we just need to turn the value machine on, and people will come.

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