Organizers of the first major marketing effort to boost horse racing and encourage betting in Great Britain will spend £10 million over next three years in an attempt to increase racetrack attendance by about one million people, raise off-track betting handle, and increase sponsorships.
The Racing and Betting Marketing Group, financed by the Levy Board, is developing a national strategy for racing and betting that encourages participation, breaks down barriers to entry by demystifying the sport, increases attendance, and emphasizes patron loyalty.
The plan is to hike attendance by 20% over current levels, and add about £293 million—a 1% increase about the level of inflation—to off-track handle. Sponsorship money would rise by 20%.
The delivery of the strategy is through the establishment of an interactive central information and ticketing infrastructure, accessible by telephone and the Internet. It will be supported by a hard-hitting, national promotional campaign.
Members of the group are Teresa Cash, the British Horseracing Board marketing director; Andy Walder, marketing and development director for bookmaker Ladbroke; and Don Stewart, a marketing consultant appointed by the Levy Board.
As far as racegoers are concerned, efforts will be concentrated on getting occasional ones to go more often, and broadening the base market by going for “potentials,” who are estimated at one in four of the adult population.
The betting focus will target 73% of adult population who regularly play the National Lottery but don't wager on horses except once a year in the Martell Grand National at Aintree.
The firm of Mustoe, Merriman, Herring, and Levy has been appointed to devise a slogan and unified designs for the marketing push.
Sir John Robb, chairman of the Levy Board marketing group, said: “A comprehensive and professional marketing campaign is an essential ingredient toward building a business and enabling it to compete successfully in its market.”