Cutbacks at All Levels

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 10, 2009 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

The NTRA is the “big brother” of racing. They keep that watchful eye, and ensure the integrity and safety of our sport. But now, they are going to lose a little wallet weight by cutting the budgets 25%.

I have an idea that might hold a little water. It won’t cure all of the ills, but it may keep the fans interested.

The NTRA should offer a “fan pass.” This could be sold for $30-$50. It could offer special newsletters, discounted tickets for triple crown events, and a “night at the races” for fans that live near a local track. This would keep players in the know, and allow them access to the magic seats. The “fans night” at the races would be a track-generated evening, where a special room or hall invites players to enjoy a fine meal, and have a guest speaker. It could be a top-notch trainer or owner, and even the top brass should address the group. The idea is to bring the fan closer, and this may do just that.

Players call me and ask what is really happening behind the hot issues in the news. Don’t just give them more headline news, but what the NTRA is planning and what they see on the horizon. After all, they have their finger on the pulse of the action.

Give them an opportunity to buy great seats at a discount. Hell, treat them like your job depends on it. Actually, it really does….. Nothing better than getting your hands on something special. The VIP treatment goes a long way.

A night hearing Bob Baffert tell his stories, or how Calvin Borel clings to the rail is something that everyone does not get to hear. This is the full monty. If it sounds silly, you may be one of the many fans who come when they can. If you like it, you may be a player who wants the game to survive. Let’s do the math and see how the NTRA would do at $40 per person: $40 at 4000 players in the U.S. would yield a sweet $160,000. I know, it doesn’t sound like much…. But it serves many masters. Not only does it allow fans to get closer, but it creates a fan base that feels appreciated. This translates into increased handle, and customer loyalty. Know the program would be huge, and 4,000 could easily be 8,000. If you ran it right, and treated people the best way possible, you can bet it would grow. The average fan is not interested in buying John Deere products, or a new Chevy. But, throw in a few free programs at their local track, and allow them to play in a free NTRA contest to go to Vegas, and you may just have something.  Just invest in your customers.  You can’t go wrong……