Attracting Different Audiences to Horse Racing

Lets Get Racing Syndicate

A post with a difference today.

I got chatting to a guy on Twitter, well we were having a debate with someone as you do on twitter and after he private messaged me and we got chatting.

He has set up a racing syndicate to help promote diversity and inclusion within horse racing. So I asked him if he would like to write a blog post to help promote his syndicate.

So this is Russell Saunders story of why he set up his racing syndicate Let’s Get Racing

The challenges

We know that racing in the UK is facing some fundamental problems.

A few of these problems – staffing, prize money, the financial viability of training, the sources of funding for the industry, the difficulties faced by smaller-scale breeders – we, at Let’s Get Racing, don’t feel able to directly influence. However, we believe that there are two issues where we could do something to help: 
1) that the number of people coming racing, by all measures, is dropping and
2) that the number of racehorse owners is diminishing
Now, it doesn’t take an industry expert to tell you that those two truths added together do not make for a healthy outlook for the sport we love. 
So, what could we at Let’s Get Racing do? 
In short, play our part in increasing racing’s inclusivity and by doing so attract new and different audiences to come racing and into racehorse ownership.

Why inclusivity?

This comes from two different directions. 
Firstly, when we go racing we see a largely white, wealthy, more mature audience mixed with a largely white, heterosexual, younger audience in the “cheap seats”. Racing is doing a good job currently for those groups and the historical social structures within racing and its current marketing, including after racing music used by many racecourses, serve those groups well. 
What is racing doing for the BAME, LGBT+, older, non-drinking, non-gambling, family orientated groups (to name a few) who want a day of entertainment? The answer: something in some instances and not a lot in others. 
Our second driver around racing’s potential inclusivity is societal. The onset of the digital era has shifted many previously social interactions onto virtual platforms, meaning loneliness and isolation are recently increasing social issues. The opportunity here is for horse racing, which by its nature requires human to human interaction, to overtly offer people social interaction… face to face, person to person, connection. 
To increase the diversity of the audience going racing and owning racehorses, requires racecourses, the BHA, the Jockey Club and racehorse trainers to similarly encourage BAME, LGBT+, older, family groups both to come racing or be involved in an element of racing and then, by virtue of their inclusivity, keep participating in racing in its different forms. 
To develop those critical initial connections, means marketing and advertising to and offering something a little special to those specific, large audiences. 
Lets Get Racing Syndicate
Russell Saunders with one of the Let’s Get Racing Syndicate horses

What’s next?

Next, it’s about creating an environment that celebrates difference, caters for difference and makes those new people who have been attracted to participate feel like horse racing is a place where they are able to be themselves, meet new friends… and enjoy the wonder that is a racing horse. 
So, our rallying call to those who are not currently doing so is “Let’s Get Racing!” And if you want to do that or to be part of an inclusive racing club get in touch with us: 
facebook @letsgetracing and @LGBT+ InclusiveHorseRacing


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