Friday, January 4, 2013

Hey, Racing Demo's Could Be Worse

I got an email from my pal who posts on the blog as Walleye Fisherman. Not so strangely enough, he is a fisherman. Anyway, he sends me a couple of links on fishing demographics. It turns out that in 1990 the average age of a fisherman in Canada was 39. Now, in 2012 that number has risen to 50.

Fishing is "dying off" it appears and young people just aren't fishing anymore. He tells me "Young people don't fish. I have kids who come to the cottage who won't leave their laptop"

Fishing is one of those things that takes time. You have to buy equipment, have a place to go, spend some money on licenses, all that kind of stuff. You can't just turn on the TV and go fishing

I read similar recently on the Wall Street Journal. Apparently deer are eating all the crops in Japan because there are not enough hunters. Hunters are "dying off" so the locals say, and the government puts their average age at over 60. It's so bad they think they may introduce wolves as an invasive species to control the deer. Young people don't want to hunt anymore, either. 

Other time-consuming pursuits are falling off a little bit, too. I read a report from Taylor Made which said new golfers are being introduced to the game at a snails pace. If you live in LA or Toronto or New York that makes some sense. Drive an hour to get a few miles down the road to the course, play a six hour round behind a drunk fat guy playing from the blue's, and pay $100. Oh joy.

Technology, 500 TV stations, video games and video on demand, smartphones and everything else allow us to do myriad things. But technology does not allow the day to be longer, make traffic less congested, or make us run on an hour's sleep a night. That stays the same. Fishing, hunting, golf, live horse racing, are all fighting for time. And they all take time.

Racing has an edge on many time-consuming pursuits, however. We don't have to fight traffic to enjoy it, or take a block of six hours to go to the track. We can play it from home, and it gives the user a chance to make money. Money is the great elixir. It's why a low takeout exchange like Betfair racing has an average age of user of 35. Racing is not old, our pricing and how we deliver it is.

It's going to be difficult to reinvent fishing or hunting. Who knows, maybe we'll see a technology backlash in the future and people will spend more time in that crazy place called "outside", but it's not very likely in the near future. Racing on the other hand can probably reinvent itself. New branding, exchanges, new technology, statistics, all the things online gambling or online stock gambling trading have done might help some. 

Enjoy your Friday. And if you're going fishing in rural Canada today, bring a heavy duty auger and bundle up. The ice is thick and it's freaking cold out.




1 comment:

Indulto said...

Racing introduced whales to control the recreational horseplayer population.