Four Beer Night

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 18, 2009 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

I have a friend who is a trainer. He is a small-timer for the most part and has about twenty horses in his barn. He really loves the game, and his family has been involved since 1940. But the game has changed.

When his family first started out, his father was a top notch rider who garnered a great deal of attention. After his retirement, he turned to training. He and his brother followed suit, and while his brother is ranked nationally for wins, he toils in the game he loves.

The problem he told me about was getting the word out about attracting new owners. His father use to tell him that you are only as good as your past meeting. Maybe he was right, back in the day.

We talked some more, and after further discussion about the business, I offered a little advice to market his product in today’s time. Things have changed, and you better adapt if you want to keep up with the trends.

He is on the computer constantly and talks about his friends from all over the world. He even told me he was on Myspace and Facebook. It was at that time we kicked up the conversation, and he bought beer number one.

I told him to use his Facebook account to get out the word. He could send a gentle message that his stables have a horse running at Indiana Downs this Friday, and anyone that would like, was welcome to come to the paddock or hopefully to the winners’ circle. I told him that this would keep people informed about his stable, and would create a new closeness to the game by allowing people an up close experience. He is the kind of guy that never meets a stranger, and invites the crowd into a winning photo. So, this would not be much of a stretch, and may open the door for potential clients.

This man is active with charitable organizations, and has allowed handicapped children to come to his barn to pet and feed horses. He also keeps a pony there for rides and pictures. This was something his dad did because he loved kids, and the tradition carries over. I asked him to go a step a further and contact the publicity department to get a hold of the local media to promote this wonderful event. He could even get the track to sponsor a cook-out for families to enjoy while their children were in the best of hands. Now comes beer number two…..

You love your computer I said, and it is time to take your game to the people. He asked how with his ever-smiling face. How will they come? I told him at this point we need to create a website with a brief description of his family history, and what he offers. All the text could be over a wonderful racing landscape, which would be attractive. Now, people all over could stumble on to his hard work, and he could be easy to follow. Beer number three coming right up…

He loved the ideas. This man who loves the sport as many on the backside do, was ready to take his game and grow. He was really excited about the kids coming back… I think he liked that the best.

Beer four was being served and the sun was starting to go down. We sat at the outside patio of a track bar and enjoyed the conversation, I about his life, and he about how to change for the future. Overall, it was a good night. Just two guys talking about horses and sipping beer. What could have been better? I am sure his dad would have been proud. He not only kept up the family tradition, but wanted it to grow for the future for his own children.