In 1882, Frank R. Stockton published a short story that has frustrated the beejezus out of high school English students for generations. In the last line of “The Lady, or the Tiger?” either Stockton or the story’s narrator – if you want to go all “lit class” on it – asks readers to pick the ending. The title is says it all.
Little did Stockton know what the future would hold.
How do you get a generation comfortable with posting videos to YouTube and live-Tweeting during TV shows AND sharing their whereabouts on Facebook to go out to watch horses run as fast as they can every half hour for maybe half a dozen times in an afternoon? Attracting a new generation to the track has been a worry and a priority racing industry visionaries.
The Jockey Club, the breed registry and a major keeper-of-the-racing-flame, ponied up $5 million and came up with is America’s Best Racing. A big part of ABR is the colorful bus carrying young industry professionals to attract young adults in the towns that host the big races this year. ABR has also been a sponsor on NBC Sports’ telecasts of the main 2013 Derby prep races.
Like its target audience, the ABR team is wired into social media on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and the group’s website FolllowHorseRacing.
One aspect of the sport they’re also highlighting, especially on TV? Horse racing’s interactivity.