As others have mentioned, Oprah Winney was featured on Oprah Winfrey today. It was a very sweet segment, very touching… as a fan it made me want to route for her (although as a handicapper I really like Miss Macy Sue as the value play).
Post Parade points out Oprah’s reach and what we stand to gain from this superb mainstream media coup. Seriously, whoever pulled this off should be commended!
The whole thing is genius, not only in terms of scoring precious Breeders’ Cup press, but also in terms of creating some alliance or affinity to a celebrity which in turn gets access to their audience or fan base. Other sports have many fans who don’t know much about the sport but have “their team”, why shouldn’t we do that?
There are plenty of other celebrities to name horses after:
Madonna – she’s a horse lover with a loyal following. She hates the names Material Girl & Boy Toy… why not name a horse after her next tour, she would!
David Letterman – he would be great! You know he would have plenty of funny segments following the horse. Tom Durkin could be a guest… potential horse names: Larry Bud, Super Dave, Top Ten, Stupid Human Tricks.
Jay Leno – he loves cars, why not horses… the original horse power. Potential horse name: Jaywalking.
John Stewart – like Letterman I can imagine him having fun with it, potential horse name: The Daily Show!
You can see the segment about Oprah Winney here, but what I’d really love to see is how Oprah herself set it up and what she said afterwards. I’m suuuure she touted the Breeders’ Cup and ESPN. It will be interesting to see if we get a nice spike in ratings or if Oprah Winney is bet down. Hopefully this is just the beginning of our industry figuring out how to get some play in the mainstream media!
Update: from the BC site:
“The producer of her show called me and said ‘Oprah told me about your horse’s story, we’d like to interview you for a piece we’re doing,'” Dubb recalls. He said he had secretly wondered if the real Oprah knew about Oprah the horse.
So, it wasn’t some well orchestrated plan to plan to get BC coverage, however getting “human (horse) interest stories in the mainstream media is certainly one of many ways to help generate new fans.