New Poll, Marketing to New Fans

How does one go about creating new fans anyway? (E-BAD)

The rumor is true, I’m 42… oh, and I’m on the “newly created marketing task force” empaneled by Social Sphere and NTRA.

In addition to the folks mentioned by name and age in the press release, fellow TBA-ers Superfecta and Alan are involved as well as Alex Brown with an occasional guest appearance by Derek Simon. I’m not entirely sure if the other folks who don’t have web presences want their names out there so I will just say that there are few other bright and passionate folks on the team (and add their names if they mention it’s ok).

We’ve been asked to “Develop a plan to market the sport to a new generation of fans”.

Over the course of about six weeks, the group will be spending dozens of hours meeting, debating, and challenging each other’s assumptions — the results of which they will present to the industry at the NTRA Marketing Summit.

The emphasis is mine. Debating? Check. Challenging each other’s assumptions? Check. You can’t get a bunch of bloggers in a virtual room without there being some disagreement, although it seems by the press release that this is by design. The good news is (not that there’s any bad news) that there’s no shortage of ideas!

One would think it’s easy to answer that question the way we all hold forth on our blogs, taking about how the industry should do this and the industry should do that. Putting it all together in a cohesive plan (as a group) is another story.

So, dear readers, if the NTRA called you up and said “Hey, tell me how you would create new fans… and guess what, you can’t spend any money on it”, what would you recommend?

Should tracks focus on getting their customer service act together? Should there just generally be better communication with fans? Would the ability to watch and wager on all tracks woo new folks to the siren song of horse racing? Would better TV coverage do the trick? How about stopping early retirement or redesigning… or having more mainstream fantasy horse racing? Would having standing save us? Hey, there’s always marketing (but to who? We’ll try to answer that in our next poll!).

Feel free to pontificate, share, hold forth, share photos of burned muffins and/or spout off in the comments (you know, the usual).

In our last poll it was a dead heat, 15/15 for Music Note in Travers vs. The Alabama… ultimately I’m glad she ran in the Alabama but am bummed there will be no rematch with Proud Spell (should this sort of thing be in the poll too?).

As always, thanks for sharing!

Update: many thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and ideas! Thanks to Equidaily and Paulick for the links as well!

I highly encourage you to go to Self Appointed Fan Committee and submit your ideas and rants there as well. We compile monthly reports and send them directly to the places most appropriate for the idea or rant (NTRA, various tracks, AGSC, TVG, Jockey Club, etc). Who knows what we’ll end up with as a presentation, but by submitting to SAFC you’re ideas are being sent directly to the folks who could do something about it!