Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Free Beer !

This past weekend I received my Maryland Jockey Club winter newsletter. This three page full color fold out has all the bells and whistles. Bright color graphics, photos, and big dollar signs on every promotional section. The only problem with this great mailing is that the promotions stink! You would think that an expensive marketing piece like this would have something for all levels of fans. Not just the big time gamblers that already go to the track often. I want to believe that The Maryland Jockey Club is trying to win new fans, and make the casual fan a regular visitor to the tracks. Let me share some of the non-gambling promotions.

Racing From South America - Wager on races from San Isidro, Argentina, Maronas, and Uruguay. What? I am a big racing fan, and I can care less about South American racing. Even if Invasor returned home I would not watch these races.
Jockey Autograph Session - Meet Maryland racing's all-stars, and have your photo taken with you favorite rider. This is a nice idea. I think a lot of people would be interested in meeting the jockeys. Now all you have to do is show up an hour and a half before the first race. How many people are going to come to the track at 11:00 when the first and only stakes race goes off at 5:00.
Freebie Fridays in February - Free Admission, Free Live Racing Program, Free Draft Beer with the purchase of a draft beer. This is a nice promotion. Going the extra mile for the fans. Between admission and a program, they are saving the fans $4.50. On top of that, it is buy one get one free beer. The only problem is that this should be done on a Saturday in the spring. Or a twilight card around the Pimlico meet. People are not taking off of work for buy one get one free beer. Once again, you are catering to the people who are already going to the track from 12:00-5:00 on Fridays.
I am not a marketing genius, but I can tell you that these promotions are not winning over any casual fans, or brining in new ones. How about twilight racing and a concert after the card for a Friday night. I know my buddies and I would move happy hour to the track. It works great at Belmont. I don't want to bring this all back to slots again.....but people are not coming to the track to watch $5k and $10k claimers everyday. The casual fans want to see the big horses more than 3 days a year. Now that we lost the Pimlico Special, we will have fewer fans at the track this year. Hello... Maryland Jockey Club, work on the racing product, not the free tote bags.

1 comment:

Pjon10 said...

Baloo, don't kid yourself, you are a marketing genius! I have told you this for years.Good points, I think you're ideas are dead on for generating interest, don't forget upgrading Pimlico as a very necessary step, the place looks like it hasn't seen a make over since the War, and I am talking WWII!


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