Just Add People

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 27, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

I was reading a very interesting article in the Star Tribune from this past weekend about Russell Baze at the Claiming Crown. I enjoyed all of the story, but I have to ask one question….

The article was written perfectly. It was informative, it caught my attention, and as a fan I have to say it was good material. All with the exception of asking Mr. Baze about the game. He said, “it needed to marketed differently.” This I couldn’t agree with more..

The problem with marketing is that it does not just fall on the shoulders of two or three people in that department. Everyone at the track is in marketing. Everyone that comes into contact with the public is in marketing. It is not based on just running radio and TV ads to give a quick fix. There needs to be an energetic atmosphere. People demand customer service on all levels, and rightfully so.

Let us begin at the parking gates. Let’s make it all free! Let’s have free valet to make everyday customers feel special and appreciated. Now, let’s move on to the turnstiles. Well, there are none… C’mon on in free, it is an honor to have you here.. Now, you have made it easy to enter, and these first two steps have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Let’s go get a program… Have cheerful people in place. Have them give details about how to get there, what they would need, and where they can get the best view. This gets players heading in the right direction. Nothing better so far, and it has not cost a dime….

At every window in the track, have happy people who want to place your bets and will help. Have plenty of beginner windows to make the experience of making a wager seem less stressful. Take away the fear, and replace it with good old fashioned patience. Nobody would ever balk at that. So far, the cost is nothing…

Now, everyone wants a beer and a dog, a soda or popcorn. Le’ts give it to them at a price that makes you feel like you can have quality eats without trading in your shoes…. Let them feel at home. Add this in with a clean environment, and they start feeling at home….. Sounding good yet?

After the race, have two or three riders who do not have a mount, meet in a location and pass out goggles t0 the kids and be available for questions… Get the players closer to the game. Have a farrier come out and show what they do.. This goes miles with people.. How about a track mascot who makes appearances on weekends for the kids? How about free ice cream for the first hundred kids to meet “Racetrack Robbie?”  Give them something to do.. Make it a family day at the races. The parents will return at a later date… I promise…

Now, we have taken care of the fan in a kind way. We have invited them in, given them a clean, economical environment, and have happy people to take care of their wagering needs. We even cater to first timers who come to the track. They finally have access to the stars who win on the horses, and we even keep kids entertained.

Well, now we can run radio and TV ads that draw people to a friendly place they call theirs. It all starts with everyone taking part. It does not fall upon the shoulders of a few. We need more than ever to come together as a team. This allows marketing to advertise the truth.  It is a place of entertainment, and we need to get it going right now. Mr. Baze you were right, but it falls upon the shoulders of many to ensure a balanced environment.