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Today's Horse Racing Sports Marketing Challenge


One of the toughest challenges for horse racing comes from the "we're a sport not a gambling game" crowd. There are about 50,000 races per year in North America, and 50,000 of anything is hard to sell as a sport. But the industry tries. And tries.

Chickenhead (not his real name) posted some prose regarding the challenge of that task on a chat board. I post it here.

As a sporting event, the average day of racing stacks up very, very, very poorly against an average professional sporting event. Let's take baseball.

I can get tickets to a baseball game for just about the same cost as a going to the track. Not good seats, but I can go to the ballpark for the same price. I can buy those tickets, and plan my trip, months in advance, to see whatever team I want to see. I know what I'm going to get. I can invite friends, plan a day around it. While I'm there, I know I am going to watch several hours of professional level competition.

If the average day of baseball operated as the average day of horseracing does, here is what I would get instead:

I would have no idea who was playing until a day or two ahead of time. It wouldn't really matter, as I'd have no idea who most of the players were anyway. If I wanted to find out anything about them, I'd have to pay extra.

I decide to go anyway.

I sit down, and they bring a bunch of toddlers out to play tee ball. Most of these toddlers have never played tee ball before, and the ones that have, have absolutely no skill at it. They appear to be the worst group of tee ballers they could find.

They play for around 2 minutes, and then they go back into the dugout.

The field is empty for 30 minutes. We sit there.

Then, they bring out another group of tee ballers, these ones are little girls. They play tee ball for 2 minutes. They are worse than the previous group. Then they go back into the dugout.

The field is empty for 30 minutes. We sit there.

A bunch of old men come onto the field, and play slow pitch softball for 2 minutes. One of them falls and breaks his hip -- he rolls around near home plate in pain, and then they cart him off in an ambulance.

The field is empty for 30 minutes. We sit there.

The "Feature" finally comes around, after several hours of this. It seems like it took an agonizingly long time to get here.

A bunch of Babe Ruth league teenager boys come onto the field. They are ok, but not great. They play for 2 minutes, then they go back into the dugout.

Then we all go home. The End

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That's one tough gig folks.

Comments

kyle said…
That was very funny. I'd add one thing. Sometimes a group of professionals does take the field, but then there are often only five of them so there is no one to catch or play first base.