Monday, March 13, 2006

Market the Jockey - Not the horse

Everyday we read stories about the problems in the horse racing industry. We hear that attendance is down at the tracks, the jockeys need insurance, the purses are dropping, and the racing days are being cut. The net day we read a story that the only way to save racing is to attach it to slot machines and casino gambling. Lets take a step back, take a deep breath and think about this for a second.

Fans follow superstars. Did fans in Washington come out to see the Wizards (formerly the Bullets) when they were playing the Chicago Bulls? No! They came out to see Michael Jordan. The attendance at almost all arenas doubled when the Bulls came to town. The same goes for Roger Clemens and Tiger Woods. Do fans come out to see the number 24 car in a NASCAR race? No! They come out to see Jeff Gordon. In NASCAR, both the car and the driver go to the winners circle, but it is the driver that gets all the publicity. I understand this is not exactly the same as horse racing, but you get the idea.

(A funny thought - Do you think they would retire the car to the breeding shed after it won the Daytona 500 of blew out a tire?)

As fans and bloggers, we must help the thoroughbred industry along by promoting the success of both the horse and the jockey. We need to make the jockeys the stars. One of my favorite jockeys is Laurel (apprentice) Rosie Napravnik. Read the story about Rosie Bet on it, this rider is a natural?, and lets start talking about the jocks!

1 comment:

John said...

I say market both. I think the public reacts to the horse first and foremost. Racing needs to devise a way to promote the longevity of equine careers(they devised the Breeders Cup, I think they can tackle this issue). We cannot grab the attention of the public with athletes that have careers that span months not years!


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