Horse Racing Ireland    Advertising Themes
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Horse Racing Ireland Advertising Themes



Horse racing in Ireland has to find new ways to talk to the existing fans and to find and convert potential newcomers. The recession has taken disposable income out of many pockets and the impact is ...

Horse racing in Ireland has to find new ways to talk to the existing fans and to find and convert potential newcomers. The recession has taken disposable income out of many pockets and the impact is obvious at racecourses and other social outlets.

We have looked at the mood of the nation and tested the kind of messages and imagery that would get through to racegoers and potential new fans alike.

We have also looked in some depth at where those potentials might be found -and have some encouraging results.

This brief summary of our research to date shows how new campaigns must capture the national mood and show the fit that racing has with their needs. Those needs begin with the fact that people still need to have fun ;they most enjoy shared experiences in a community of like-minded people;they feel a need to re-connect with a sense of Irishness; they want authentic experiences and they feel a greater affinity to the land and its traditions than during the boom years. Racing tickes all those boxes but the clever bit will be in translating that into effective communications .Watch this space... @ruairc



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Horse Racing Ireland Advertising Themes Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Horse Racing Themes
    Prepared for
    Prepared by David Fanning
    December 2010
  • 2. Key Themes Emerging
  • 3. Major Significance of Women
    Huge affinity of women with racing on a number of levels:
    Racing requires significant organising and women seem to play a key role in this
    The planning process - often taking up to a week or more
    The totality of the racing experience –socialisation, fashion, ladies day – all part of the appeal.
    Men too, point to the centrality of women to the racing experience
    Pointing out that this is unique: no other sporting environment involves women as much
  • 4. Socialisation Huge
    It is genuinely a socialisation experience rather than merely sport
    Often very significant planning involved
    Many comparing it to a wedding/debs
    Extended planning period heightens anticipation
    Huge excitement around the planning and build up
  • 5. Quality Demands & Expectations
    The quality demands and expectations of this audience is high
    They have grown used to high standards across a range of social and sporting activities
    Music venues back then v the O2 now
    Music festivals then v Electric Picnic
    Ancillary activities surrounding events can make all the difference
    How long do I have to queue for beer?
    What’s the quality of the food?
    What sort of entertainment is there?
    Used to and expect Modern marketing: Fever at the Aviva
  • 6. Irishness
    The Irishness of racing consistently emerges as a theme
    It is “our sport”, part of what we are,
    It is an international sport but has a uniquely Irish character in Ireland
    It reflects an Irish character expressed in a celebratory way
    It is for ‘all’: all tribes are welcome
    People watching :’ watching all walks of Irish life go by’ is part of the enjoyment.
  • 7. Class
    Class differences undoubtedly play a role
    Not: class divide or conflict. Absence of antagonism
    Touch of Downton Abbey: different sectors of society in harmony, sense of structure
    Safe expression of social class identity
    Presence of Irish royalty: people from the social columns
    “You hear all sorts of accents”
  • 8. Ritual & Theatre
    The rituals of the day are an important part of the tapestry
    Arrival and a drink, checking/discussing the form, watching the parade, plaing the bets, the race itself, collecting the winnings!
    A theatrical or dramatic quality is also noted
    The show of the bookies; hand signals, codes, nods and winks, the said and the unsaid
    A craft with deep historical roots
  • 9. Novices & First-timers
    Can be overwhelming for a ‘newbie’
    The theatre and rituals can seem baffling and archaic.
    They need a mentor: an experienced hand who can guide them
    Some concerns that mentors may not be as frequent as they once were.
  • 10. Blood & Thunder
    The sheer physicality of the horses and the racing itself provides a visceral thrill
    All of the sense are engaged
    The almost primal sounds of hooves on turf, the crack of the whip the yelp of the crowd, etc
    The colours: jockey colours,
    Physicality of an ancient sport
    Some recall of an old Powers ad which, it is felt, captured this well.
  • 11. Celebration
    The atmoshere of a race meeting - especially a big meet – is celebratory
    A celebration of our culture in our style
    Cheltenham is the pinnacle of this
    Huge pride at the fact that Cheltenham has an unmistakably Irish character
    Emphasises the difference with English race meetings
  • 12. Racers Racing (Adorers)
    The sport itself – huge interest in the horses, the jockeys, the trainers, the owners, the turf
    And a fascination with trying to plot a matrix that might predict a win
    Betting is central to this
    Men only: there is a (significant) role for women inn racing but the sport/gambling side is dominated by men
    Real respect for jockeys among this constituency – warriors of sport.
  • 13. History is Deep
    Goes back many centuries
    Taming nature
    Gladiatorial origins
  • 14. Money & Power
    Access to a different world
    Sense of billionaire and millionaires involved
    Sheiks and lords
    Some sense of thrill at being so close to wealth and power
  • 15. Celebrity
    Strong sense of racing being connected to celebrity culture
    Celeb punters:
    Grainne Seoige, O’Gara, Rosanna Davison , Michael Owen,
    The rich and famous
    Reaches its height on ladies day; major appeal here for women
    Celeb endorsement has an influence – Hector campaign widely mentioned
  • 16. J.xxxx
    Thank you