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by Ed Meyer

posted on June 11, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

The Kentucky Racing Commission used to have their panties in a bunch about advertising. This is where an entity could put their name on the side of the pant legs of a rider. They would be a 98 lb moving billboard. I like the idea, but this could have been done long ago with a few provisions.

I think the advertisement must pass a regulatory board. Nothing profane, nothing racy, no cigarettes or alcohol. Now, remember this is just an idea….Let’s keep it clean…..

OK, now let’s take the money. 25% must go into a fund where disabled riders need care. Another 25% must go into a general fund for insurance. There are many jockeys who are unable to buy, or even begin to afford insurance. Now, it becomes a little cheaper. The other 50% goes to the rider…. It looks like all benefit… I know it is not 100%, but the riders around the country w0uld find it hard pressed to disagree with the breakdown of the monies, as it benefits the whole colony.

There is one stipulation. On all Triple Crown events, the Breeders’ Cup, and all graded races, the commission has an approved marketing/sponsorship body that will negotiate the contract for the advertisements. The rest of the year, and out of country mounts belong to the riders. It only makes sense that all riders get a chance to benefit. By my calculations, the TV rights to the NFL does not just benefit the top four teams. They have pooled together, and negotiate as one body. This will keep the premier racing events on an even playing field. There will be no “jockeying” for advertising supremacy. You can bet that if a regulatory body will be in charge of making the prices, on the big days, the companies that want to be seen will pay the price.

I think the R/C should get the riders more involved. They should be more accesible to the patrons, and the meet and greet style will get the company name out there much more… It is starting to sound like a business.

The Racing Commision would advertise at every track. There could be paddock signage, and signage around the tracks like they do in England. I love the video magic that allows you to see the product brands on the tracks. In every saddling stall, I could see the image of any company who wants to advertise.  This added value would only help in making the idea a team-oriented plan.  Starting to sound like everyone wins….