Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Once-a-year Eclipse

Am I the only horse racing blogger who missed the Eclipse awards the other night? I’ve perused just about every blog in the horse-blog-o’sphere and at this point, posting a link here on avghorseplayer seems….out of date. If you’re just fixin’ for some Eclipse coverage, just click on any of the links over on the right hand side of the page and you’ll be fine.

For everyone else who loves the world of horses (including me)… does this not just seem like another marketing opportunity gone terribly wrong? A chance for horse racing’s ruling body (or bodies) to shine another spoke on the wheel of success? Why does it feel to me that the horseracing world just blew another opportunity to expose its beauty, enjoyment and attractiveness?

Outside of blogging, I am known as “Public Relations Professional”. In my “circles” there are two types media outlets- 1) Horizontal. 2) Vertical. The horizontal world consists of your everyday, daily news. Everyone sees, hears or comes across this type of news outlet on a daily basis. This includes T.V. (CBS, ABC, CNN HBO et. al.), daily newspapers (NY Times Oregonian, Bergen Record), mainstream magazines (Inc., Sports Illustrated, et. al.), etc.

The vertical on the other hand is pretty much industry trade journals. For instance, a client we are on the verge of partnering with is extremely excited about the folks who are reading publications like: Luxury Travel Advisor, Travel Professional Magazine and Agent@Home. Have you ever heard about any of those travel trades? Do you even care?

Vertically. That’s how I feel horse racing operates. Promoting and existing only for your vertical market is a bad idea in the business world. Why would horseracing only cater to those “in the know?” Don’t you like to travel and take trips? I am sure you do. This is the thing, I don’t see you running out to the newsstand to pick up the January issue of “Cruise Travel Magazine”(Vertical) to read about your next vacation. However, you WOULD read about it in Conde Nast or Outdoor Magazine (Horizontals).

Look at what ESPN has done with the ESPY Awards. Those guys took a simple, proven marketing tool (the awards show) and basically crafted and promoted their own product: Sports Entertainment.

That was just one simple example, but do you see what has made ESPN so successful? Just a little marketing, some messaging consistency and the proper promotion (which go a long way. We horse racing bloggers have a plethora of ideas and suggestions that we all think will help our game grow and expand. Every single of one of them has at least one fantastic, (sometimes very simple) idea. The powers that be who are at the helm of the rudderless ship “Thoroughbred Horseracing,” better gather up the crew and start charting a serious course back into the spotlight of the mainstream before the boat hits an iceberg and sinks, carrying with it the riches and spoils of one of the most prolific sports institutions in the world.


Handride said...

i would say your best post ever.

Ruben Bailey said...

Thanks Patrick.