Monday, March 27, 2006

"Good things Rube" (name the movie)

An exhausting, yet gratifying weekend of horse racing is now complete and I have finally caught my breath.

Major kudos to Katrina and the Dubai Racing Carnival for hosting some of the most thorough coverage from this weekends Dubai World Cup.

Another high note was the first ever Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance hosted chat room that took place all day Saturday. No need to go into too much detail as my talented colleagues did a splendid job of touting, chatting and summarizing the days events. Just click on any one of the links to the left and you will be entertained for hours!!

The only negative note from the weekend was this:
Horse Racing Fans Screwed Again!
The folks over at Equidaily encapsulate my entire thoughts and feelings from that afternoon---I MEAN TENNIS????? A non-major???? NOT the Finals? Oy.

Finally, if you read this post late last week by yours truly then you can appreciate what I've got for you below.

I am always amazed when I come across a responsive, personable, human media person who takes the time not only to answer your fan mail or stupid-ass query, but will even go out of their way to find out an ANSWER for you!! I worked at a major radio entertainment network a few years ago and we would get hundreds of inquires, comments and questions. I know how hard it can be to answer all of the feedback one can get when their work is broadcast all over the world. That's why when I received the following response from a letter I had sent to DRF's Dave Tuley, I was once again convinced that he is one of the classier, upper echelon in the media mayhem of our current world. (read the post linked above and you will understand what the response is all about):

Dave:
I'll just reply here and you can disseminate it as you see fit.
First a clarification: DRF, the company that signs my pay check sponsors the NHC and is certainly supportive of it, but pretty much leaves the running of it to the NTRA, so you're not hurting my feelings or ruffling the feathers of anyone at DRF by airing
complaints. Feedback is great, and the goal of everyone is to make this
thing as fair and equitable as possible. That being said...
What I'm told is that the NTRA and America Tab felt it was necessary to
do that to prevent fraud of people entering under multiple
names/addresses/etc. and circumventing the maximum entries per person rule and also
to protect against chargebacks if people claim they didn't enter (which
would already be added to NHC purse and wouldn't look right if it was
announced 200 people enter and then 20 chargeback to their credit cards
and people wonder where the extra $2,000 went).
I understand your reservations about doing it, but if you register at
YouBet or TVG, you'd have to supply your SS# to verify your identity. I
don't how this would change. If you want to lodge a formal complaint
with the NTRA, this is from the nhcqualify.com page:

If I have general questions about the National Handicapping
Championship program, who can I contact?

The NTRA administers the NHC program. McKay Smith, director of product
development for the NTRA, runs the day-to-day operations. He may be
contacted through the NTRA switchboard at 1-800-RACECUP or 859.223.5444,
or via e-mail at msmith@ntra.com.


Ok, it's not the Magna Carta, but would Tom Brokaw or even Steven Crist take the time to give that response? We at the TBA have attempted to contact many a media folk over the past year and I will tell you first hand that this type of response is extremely uncommon--yet highly valued and appreciated by yours truly.

Thanks, Dave!!

2 comments:

kentucky joe said...

Bloodhorse magazine has a pretty scathing editorial regarding the credibility issues surrounding the NTRA. I think you can point to the recent snubs in coverage from ESPN and the almost non-existant coverage in the Sports sections of papers like USA Today and you realize that horse racing is having some issues getting the word out about what a great and exciting sporting event it is. In a time when the NTRA should be bending over backwards to accomodate current fans and trying to grow the sport, it seems they would at least have the courtesy to provide you with an intelligent response. It is nice to see the DRF may care about the fans! Interesting post as I looked at that contest as well...

Ruben Bailey said...

My question is: How can the NTRA ask newspaper outlets (or any other media for that matter) to take up valuable space for their product, when the NTRA's OWN MEDIA PARTNERS won't even do it?

The marketing woes that continue to plague the NTRA seem to be neer ending. Awful, worthless ad campaign after ad campgin has led to no increase in public exposure for the sport. I do beleive, however, that there is a way out of this. It came to me the other day:

Instead of the NTRA spending its ad dollars on one big, generalized (homoginized) slogan, they should regionalize and localize their marketing efforts. They should pump there money into generating loca interest in cities and towns surrounding member tracks. How can you expect someone to invest themselves in the Derby, but never visit the track 10 or 15 miles from their home?

The NTRA needs to start local and build from there. I will get into this theory in more detail in the near future.