(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
While watching The Championships at Randwick over the weekend, we had to wonder how many bangs for their buck sponsors BMW and Longines were receiving for their sponsorship dollars.
Forget words like “awareness” and “aspiration” and seeing “all the signage around the track”.
These are intangibles- and stock answers- that either sidestep the bigger question of value-for-money and how this partnership was a win-win situation for all parties.
Like brands sponsoring Rock concerts, after all these years, sponsorship of horse racing is either under starter’s orders, or, working with many at racing clubs who can only understand what has been done for decades as part of Corporate Speak, are kidding themselves that many of what is produced has any impact with the customer.
How many racing fans remember ANY of these brands after and during the raves?
Do they “aspire” to own any of these brands?
Do they care?
Apart from BMW using its theme line- The Ultimate Driving Machine- on the barriers at every race during Championship Week and having their corporate boxes for VIP guests and business partners, it all seemed as off-kilter as Chivas Regal sponsoring a Black Eye Peas concert in Shanghai a few years ago and believing the brand could get those in the audience- a young audience- switch from wine or vodka or champagne to a scotch that was very much their Grandpa’s drink of choice.
What’s happening right now between sponsors of horse racing is a huge disconnect with what surely be the primary market: the race-goer- especially, the race-goer in the Members Area. The plebs can aspire and perspire.
Corporate Speak talking to Corporate Speak takes any brand nowhere.
In Hong Kong, the hugely successful Sa Sa cosmetic brand knows its consumer, understands its role in the success of horse racing and makes its Sa Sa Ladies Day something like a celebration to beauty- and, through various on-course events, appeal to various age groups and socio-economics groups.
Sa Sa really pulls out all its big guns and look at “naming rights” as bragging rights and a photo opportunity- though a traditional medium like newspapers don’t allow the names of brands in their coverage as this is seen to be “advertising”.
From a business level, Sa Sa realizes it must hold on to to its aging and captive market plus attracting the new and next generation of consumers and uses its Ladies Day, accordingly- and which they do by taking ownership of the day- on and off-course- with a number of events that carry on after the last race has been run.
As for BMW and Longines, they have been good for horse racing- and on a global scale- and horse racing has been good for both brands by giving them something they can call their own.
As Vidal Sassoon once said in his advertising, “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good”, and here is where team work must come into play using each other’s strengths, and, communicating- effectively- with the consumer through social media, through on and off-the-field events, new inter-active ways of marketing events like The Championships through pre and post-race marketing strategies whilst looking at reaching consumers through initiatives that have as yet to be thought about, or new ideas often stopped in their tracks through too many cooks in the kitchen and way too much internal navel gazing.
Getting back to the Championships and forgetting somewhat hackneyed marketing plans that must include the obligatory television commercial and token advertisement, it’s a pity if Longines and BMW didn’t find ways to hitch themselves to the successes of Tommy Berry, James McDonald, Gai Waterhouse, Lankan Rupee and The Offer.
Perhaps they did and we missed it- and if they didn’t, it was a great marketing opportunity missed.
THE FAST TRACKER PREPARES FOR A BUMPY RIDE AHEAD AT SHATIN.
Last Wednesday wasn’t exactly top draw racing, but the Wednesday night crowd, on-course, as opposed to those who bet online or through Telebet and even the off-course betting centers, don’t really care.
They attend the races to soak up the atmosphere and, for a $10 entrance fee, they get real value for money and, for newbies, a crash course in a sport they’re trying to get around with an initial “punting strategy” based around the most popular jockeys in town.
This is why The Jockey Challenge is something that needs to marketed better than having nymphets sashaying aimlessly around the stage of the Beer Garden holding up some numbers which few take any notice of as they’re many far more interested in judging the onstage Battle Of The Butts.
The doubles by Joao Moreira and Zac Purton helped many of these newbies end up in front when it came to winning on the night while the Beer Garden became the Happy Garden with a flash mob and others getting Happier to the sounds of the Pharrell Williams’ hit Happy.
The doubles by The Zac Attack and The Magic Man aside, one thing that was disappointing was seeing and hearing very little- nothing, in fact- about the very good ride by Vincent CY Ho on Very Well to overhaul Jade Pippo right on the post.
Dougie Whyte gave a great display to settle Jade Pippo- a very highly-strung horse at the best of times- and looked set for a cosy win and with the Durban Demon wasting to ride at 116 pounds not going down the gurgler- until Ho brought Very Well down the outside to win by a nostril hair.
Let’s spread some of the praise around when it comes to good rides and not just keep it all with the usual suspects and mates.
As for today’s races- Tye Angland won’t be riding and- ridiculously- Zac Purton, who only had a handful of rides, is the main beneficiary when it’s come to replacement jockeys- it’s a tough looking card with plenty of value around.
R1 FUNNY FORTUNE/MONEY WIN WINS/HAPPY KAISER/BAMBOO DANCE
Why no mention of Triumphant Dragon? I stay clear of any horses trained by Almond Lee.
Personally, I think he’s crap at his job. Having The Zac Attack aboard will help, but Triumphant Dragon can win without my money.
R2 LONGWAH AMBER/STARTLING POWER/TRENDIFUL/RIBOT LEGACY
It sure doesn’t happen often, but Gary Ng looks like he might actually have a good new addition to the stable in Longwah Amber which Dougie Whyte has gone after to secure the ride with great vigor.
R3 AMBITIOUS KING/MASTER KOCHANGWON/DEHERE’S THE LOVE/DOUBLE GLORY)
One of those all-bother races that leave me cold- and which will leave me even colder if Ambitious King- an inexpensive International Sales Graduate- doesn’t win this.
R4 PENNY LANE/AMAZING ALWAYS/SPARKLING SWORD/MONTE CASTELLO/ SWORD
This being the first leg of the Triple Trio, I reckon one can take Penny Lane- three successive wins this season for three different jockeys with Joao Moreira taking over this time- and Amazing Always as double bankers. Sparkling Winner, Bright Star and Monte Castello MUST be taken as legs.
On the subject of legs, Gwyneth Paltrow and her amazing legs will be at The Landmark on Wednesday to launch her foodie book titled, “It’s All Good.”
R5 DRAGON BACHELOR/ACTIVISM/HEY CHEERS/SMART UNION
The first Quartet bet of the day and this looks like a multiple banker onto six legs job which will cost $4,600. My problem with this race is that there appears to be very little value. IF bothering to take a Quartet, mine would be as follows: 5 (multiple banker) onto 1,2,3,7,10,11.
R6 SUNSHINE KID/BOULD MOVER/SIR JOHN
After its facile last-start win, Sunshine Kid with the Captain Fantastic of these dirt races- Olivier Doleuze- aboard looks the likely favorite- but, going by the overnight odds, surprisingly, is at 7s.
Take it out of the equation and it’s an extremely tough race to predict with a few jockey changes making things even more difficult.
R7 PENIAPHOBIA/PURE FORCE/ART OF SUCCESS/WATCH OUT
I have to put Peniaphobia in but with reservations about its straight course form in a race that looks extremely open if Pure Force doesn’t take it out.
R8 CHANCELLOR/INVICTUS/PERFECT JOY/WINNING APEX
The toughest race on the card and where an upset could well be on the cards.
R9 SMART VOLATILITY/NOBLE ALPHA/ACCESS YEARS/MULTI-EXPRESS
The owners of Ongoing Volatility have remained loyal to Howard Cheng who now partners Smart Volatility and, if backing it, “lettuce pray” that he gives it a better ride than he did the other bit of Volatility a few weeks ago.
I suggest having something on Multi Express while keeping an eye on any late backing for Noble Alpha. The Chang-Doleuze combo are lethal in these dirt races and must have the best strike rate when it comes to winners on the all-weather surface.
Like fish take to water, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy take to, well, dirt.
R10 BESPOKE COLLARS/BIG FOUR/SMILING WATCH/
The second Quartet race of the day with this one looking as if it could return a healthy dividend as there are outsiders- with very real chances- galore.
Take it using the Big Four as a multiple banker of Big Four and Bespoke Master as double bankers with four big value chances.
BEST BET: R3 AMBITIOUS KING ( 4)
NEXT BET: R10 BIG FOUR (5)
LONGSHOT: R9 MULTI EXPRESS (10)
SARIKA’S SIX UP
Today’s Selections for Sha Tin from Third Dividend
SHA TIN (HKG)
Mon, 21/4/14 (Easter Monday)
Day Races @HKJC_Racing
Mixed-Turf (“C+3″ Course/AWT)
Weather: Cloudy with coastal fog in the morning and at night. The minimum temperature will be around 23 degrees. Sunny periods during the day tomorrow with a maximum temperature of about 28 degrees. Moderate easterly winds.
Race 1: CORNFLOWER HCP CL5 1600M
1 – Funny Fortune (3)
2 – Follow The Wind (2)
3 – Happy Kaiser (6)
4 – Money Win Wins (12)
Race 2: CROCUS HCP CL4 1000m
1 – Longwah Amber (5)
2 – Trendful (8)
3 – Generous Bobo (1)
4 – Happy Champion (3)
Race 3: DAISY HCP CL3 1200m
1 – Ambitious King (4)
2 – Dehere’s The Love (1)
3 – Danewin Tiger (7)
4 – Master Kochanwong (6)
Race 4: GERANIUM HCP CL4 1400m
1 – Penny Lane (4)
2 – Amazing Always (12)
3 – Sparkling Sword (11)
4 – Heco Rider (3)
Race 5: HEATHER HCP CL4 1800m
1 – Smart Union (10)
2 – Dragon Bachelor (5)
3 – Grand Harbour (11)
4 – Activism (2)
Race 6: IRIS HCP CL4 1200m
1 – O’Halo (3)
2 – Demon Demon (5)
3 – Hello Kimberly (4)
4 – Sunshine Kid (1)
Race 7 (Q1): THE HONG KONG LIONS CUP HCP CL3 1000m
1 – Pure Force (10)
2 – Tango Fire (8)
3 – Peniaphobia (2)
4 – Master Aetius (12)
Race 8 (Q2): MARIGOLD HCP CL3 1650m
1 – Invictus (5)
2 – Perfect Joy (3)
3 – I Smell Money (8)
4 – Dragon Glory (14)
Race 9 (Q3): THE LUSITANO CHALLENGE CUP HCP CL2 1200m
1 – Access Years (8)
2 – Smart Volatility (2)
3 – Turin Pearl (12)
4 – Multivictory (10)
Race 10 (Q4): TULIP HCP CL3 1400m
1 – Big Four (5)
2 – Bespoke Collars (11)
3 – Stay Ahead (8)
4 – Smiling Watch (2)
Race 3: Ambitious King (4)
Race 8: Invictus (5)
Race 5:Smart Union (10) – Currently, $6.60/$2.70
Race 4: Monte Castello (1) – Currently, $14.00/$5.10
Quaddie ($100 get you 39%)
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Race 10, No. 5 Big Four
Had excuses last time when held up for much of the straight. Stick with him.
Race 9, No. 10 Multivictory
Has gone to another level with the addition of blinkers and trialled superbly for this. Major player.
Race 8, No. 14 Dragon Glory
Comes back in trip after a sound effort last month. Worth thought.
8,10,11 / 5,6,14 / 2,10,12 / 2,5,6. $50 for 61.72%.