27 August 2008

What if. Part deux

A while back I wrote this piece on what, I felt, needed to be done with the industry in order to give it a chance to thrive.

With the marketing summit in Vegas approaching I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the basics and maybe then delve a little deeper.

To wit:

The obvious aside, racing's problem is a lack of exposure. No races in primetime. Nobody has a clue what races mean outside of the Kentucky Derby...standings, HELLO?

Why not try the soft sell?

Make a t.v. show; a one hour drama or what have you. The backstretch has enough story lines for CSI, House, and Prisonbreak combined.

It could center around a down and out trainer, living in his/her tack room, probably her-it might play better with the whole world is against me motif. She has a history of drug violations and license suspensions for injecting her horses, she got in bad with the mob so she was on their payroll. One day a small time, wanna be, can't make it in the real world, penny stock broker, approaches her and says he has suckered a bunch of clueless investors into giving him some money and they want to set up a racing stable. Hilarity ensues.

They could stumble on this really good horse and he could take them to the Derby where he starts from the way outside but ends up drawing off to win by 5. Yeah, probably not very believable but what the hell...this is t.v.

The other thing I figured they could try is some sort of fan selected race. Ernie's recent post gave me the inspiration for this. Find a sponsor, pick some light day on the calendar (Like the time slot devoted to the Classic this year) and have a fan invitational. People could vote for who they want to see in the race and then watch those horses run.

Why not make THAT the Friday races of the Breeder's Cup? A whole set of races crafted by the fans. I think that might draw some interest. Keep the original Saturday the way it was, maybe add the Dirt/Dyrt mile and make Friday's races all the random races you want but give the fans the right to vote for the horses they want in. Maybe keep the win and you're in to 10 slots and leave the other four, per race, open to the horses that get the most fan voting. I don't know, I'm just spitballing here.

Do something though...and fast.


Anonymous said...

The TVG guys were talking this afternoon about how at Del Mar today one horse broke through the gate, and two horses (separate races) got cast under the starting gate. And they were saying that there should be a reality show about assistant starters, because it's such a dangerous and exciting job. That reminded me of the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup, seen in the video below. No matter how many times I watch it, I am impressed by that assistant starter every single time. I don't know if I would have hung onto the 1977 TC winner when he burst through the gate; this guy makes it look easy!
Also just a great race anyway.

Wind Gatherer said...

Kerry-Thanks for that link. That was a bit of alright.

What I found curious is that the announcer never even mentions the asst. starter. All the credit went to Cordero.

That starter was just so cool as he was being dragged out and calming 'Slew, even as he was still hopping after him.

I wouldn't want to cheapen the effort those guys put in by making a reality series out of it but some sort of recognition is deserved.

Thanks again.

The Bid

The Bid
Greatest horse ever to look through a bridle