One of the most frequently asked questions in the twitterverse has to do with the availability of videos of races, why these are not available on any YouTube channels belonging to Oz racing clubs and why these videos are, often, not even available on the websites of these racing clubs.
Well, the easy answer would be that none of this is a priority to the Boardroom Brigade, who are usually hatching and plotting everything in mindlessly long Board- and Bored- Meetings that have nothing to do with the customer- the lifeline of every racing club and who gives these people the power they wield.
Yet, the customer is just a cockroach to very many of them, especially in Oz, to be looked down on and with little interest in their needs other than paying lip service when the natives get restless.
The other answer is that when it comes to social media and information technology, too many racing clubs are prisoners to their IT “geniuses” who find every excuse in the book to tell everyone why something cannot be done.
Finding solutions? Pushing the creative solutions? Keeping up with consumer trends- but not with the Kardashians? No can do.
Why? They’re not much good in their jobs as the HR people have made the wrong recommendations- much like the digital armies hired by music companies as a corporate knee-jerk reaction to combat illegal downloads, online copyright infringement, where laws still remain grey at best, and the unapproved streaming of music.
It took music companies less than a year to see the folly of their hires and off returned the digital armies to Yahoo and Google and- remember MySpace?- with some great golden handshakes.
Like many heading “IT” in racing clubs and given job responsibilities they’re incapable of doing, they put up false fronts as their “universe” was tiny- and dated. Plus they knew fuck all about music and wouldn’t have known the difference between Coldplay and a cold sore.
In a number of racing clubs, many in “IT” and production and in charge of “broadcasts” have held these positions for so long, they are able to keep their heads down for as long as possible, and hope no one notices that they are usually doing bugger all other than, like other racing club executives, slowing down progress with zero knowledge of terms like branding, ROI, the ability to make decisions, the ability to lead, the inability to realize that in a five card poker hand, their highest is a Jack of a Clubs.
It’s all just another transparent example of doing nothing, but giving a sterling performance of being seen to be doing something and becoming laws unto themselves.
Racing clubs, listen up, wake up and smell the scent of revolting peasants: Your websites, your Intellectual Properties, and how to get these out there to punters/customers whether through uploads, podcasts, ‘live’ streaming of races and everything in-between available along the Information Highway MUST be made available as no hardcore racing fan can have too much information when it comes to studying form.
Too much clutter, which makes a site look like a dog’s breakfast, is a different kettle of halibut altogether. It’s like too many tips: Irrelevant.
Clutter is trying to please everyone by not knowing what to prioritize and, by so doing, pleasing no one by serving up an unappetizing buffet where curries mix with noodles and ice-creams and fresh fruits, lamb chops, steaks, sushi and dim sum.
It’s all a right royal turn-off to the casual and new racing fan.
So what we have are very different customer groups with their own wants and needs.
And though we have written enough about the truly dated El Yawn and Cheapo Cheapo “ploduction” work of racing programs and ‘live’ broadcasts which are still to capture the excitement of the sport, let’s stick to websites and if these really communicate with today’s customers- and then think what there was BEFORE websites.
From here, how much have websites for racing clubs changed- apart from adding more and more clutter?
Is there any effort to invite consumer-generated content?
Look at Facebook or YouTube. Without consumer-generated content, they’re empty vessels making no sound.
Imagine a corporate racing club website where customers can upload racing-related content- and which is created and given by them for free.
By perhaps having sponsorship appeal, this can become a separate revenue generator AND attract new brands to racing- like Ferrari with its prancing horse logo. Or Red Bull, or Nike, or Rolls Royce or Chanel or Cartier or Pharell Williams’ BBC clothing line- the Billionaire’s Boys Club. The list is endless.
You have to be in it to win it and with no pain- nor effort- and no gain, it’s more of tired corporate bollocks by that infamous old boys club where New Thinking is against the “rules”.
Why? ‘cos it’s too much work?
Then there are the trainers and jockeys and the celebrity owners.
Why are they not used and promoted and marketed far more on the websites of racing clubs?
Aren’t they- and the equine stars- the main attractions?
They’re people, too, and racing fans would like to know more about them- their exploits on the track, yes, but also, their tastes in music, in fashion, in wines, in cuisine, their other business interests.
In Oz, where there are so many female jockeys, wouldn’t racing clubs be attracting a far wider consumer group- from around the world- if there were special online features on Kathy O’Hara, Jamie Kah, Kayla Nisbet etc- plus young guns like the Berry twins, Chad Schofield, Harry Coffey and all he is doing for cystic fibrosis etc etc?
Isn’t all this part of the whole- the whole and holistic racing experience- and which is so bloody obvious, but which blinkered thinking either can’t or refuse to see?
Corporate racing websites, the use of social media, promotion versus bona fide marketing, creativity, common sense- it’s embarrassing to see a sport so behind the times when it comes to really understanding the changing moods of consumers today and how to expand their share of a rapidly diminishing consumer pie that is home to so many other choices.