Not On My Dime

My esteemed colleagues have been doing a bang up job of commenting on the Breeders’ Cup this week.

Honestly, I haven’t been able to muster much interest, in part because I didn’t care about a Curlin/BB match up… I wanted one or both of them to pass so they would both be more likely to come back next year. Alas, it’s not to be. With several interesting horses taking a pass on the fake stuff, there really isn’t much to look forward with the exception of the end of a tumultuous year.

Last Thursday I had a some time to kill before the end of the work day so I took a little spin around the usual haunts. As I perused Bloodhorse, I noticed that the current version of Talkin’ Horses featured Peter Land, Chief Marketing Officer of the Breeders’ Cup. “This ought to be interesting”, I thought to myself.

On the fourth answer, not only did my jaw drop, but I knew in a nano second that I wouldn’t be playing either day of the BC this year, not just Friday that I had already committed to.

Let me address the Friday card first. First and foremost, the move to an all filly and mare schedule on Friday was a racing decision not a marketing decision. We believe that the fillies and mares deserve a Championship day of their own and that fans will enjoy two near equal days of Championship racing.

Then how about having it the following or prior SATURDAY, when people will see it + it won’t feel like a demotion?

We like our new model and think it will stand the test of time. As for the name of the event, that was a marketing decision. We are trying to make the Breeders‚ Cup more accessible and appealing to those inside and outside of our sport.

There comes a point when complaining about a situation yet still taking part in it makes one complicit, and I’ve found that point with the Breeders’ Cup. After all of the various (and loud) public “feedback” on this decision, they STILL aren’t listening to their existing, and rapidly dwindling, customers.

Say what you will about the NTRA, but they’re making a big and honest effort not only to reach out to fans and players, but they’re also starting to take action on what they’re hearing. Regardless of whether you like them, what they stand for or whoever you think represent, that good faith gesture (along with some follow through, that I’ll give you 2-1 on) is what PAYING CUSTOMERS want. Not arrogance, not “we think our new model will stand the test of time” with not one shred of acknowledgment that you’re willing to consider what you’re hearing from your existing customers.

Well, good luck to you Breeders’ Cup, you’ll have to do it without my dime. I’m no Mike Maloney (a girl can dream), but my bank roll last year was in the 4 digits… and believe me when I tell you that I left it all in New Jersey. I had planned on scaling back my bank roll this year, but instead of handing it over to a group that has no interest in their customers, I’m going to donate my BC bank roll to rescue, stay tuned for who and how I donate it. If you feel the same way about the Breeders’ Cup, I invite you to do the same.