Racing Hopes to Go Viral With Video Series

A series of five or six fun, edgy videos hopes to build a social network following.

A new social media video campaign designed to get people excited about Thoroughbred racing was introduced March 9.

The campaign, which uses the Twitter hashtag #TheOtherMadness, is part of a wider rollout of initiatives being developed by The Jockey Club to attract news fans to the sport and further engage existing fans.

The video features a customer talked into buying “Derby, the 2 Minute Intensity Drink” at a mock sports apparel store called the Hoof Locker. After a couple of sips, the customer feels the excitement of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

“We’re building a critical mass in the social media platforms,” said Stephen Panus, vice president of communications for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, whose team works closely with The Jockey Club communications group. “We want people to share this video and share videos of their own madness related to horse racing. The core fans may not understand this initially but give it time. This is for a new audience, a younger audience.”

The video is part of the social media effort behind a new fan website——The Jockey Club plans to launch after midnight March 11. The site will be called “America’s Best Racing” and replace the NTRA’s existing website.

The Jockey Club is also close to launching a free-to-play handicapping game and a social game that allows people to breed and race virtual Thoroughbreds.

Other efforts made recently to improve racing’s profile among sports fans have included securing time on NBC, the NBC Sports Network, and CNBC across four weekends from March 24 through April 14 to show major Derby prep races. The video campaign, at this time, will not be repurposed for television advertising.

“This video was produced so it could be used on TV, but we’re focused right now on a social media campaign because you can be more creative in the digital space,” said Jason Wilson, vice president of business development for The Jockey Club.

"The Other Madness" campaign was conceived and is being produced by the Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions in Lexington.

“We’ve got the TV series that is running right into the teeth of other major sports,” said Kip Cornett, president of Cornett—IMS. “So we wanted something that would rise above the clutter and talk about the intensity of our sport.”

Cornett said new videos will be rolled out roughly once a week, with some of the videos featuring other “products” sold at the Hoof Locker. In all, Panus said the series will include five to six videos.

“It is all about capturing the madness that is horse racing and delivering the message that racing is fun, exciting, and affordable,” Panus said.