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THE SUNSHINE COAST NEWSPAPER COLUMN: A CLEAR WINNER IN THE 'MARKETING AND PROMOTION STAKES.'

By Graham Potter | Sunday, October 20, 2019

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

It was a promotion that went world-wide.

The projecting of the barrier draw for The Everest onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with its flash of changing colours as the representation of the jockey’s silks that each horse would carry in the big race was beamed onto the iconic structure, made a statement of its own as it exemplified what Racing NSW does best.

While the on-going, not-so-friendly exchange of views between Racing NSW and Racing Victoria and their continuing argument about the comparative status of their top races and how they should be scheduled remain points of debate … there can be absolutely no question as to who is the winner in the ‘Marketing and Promotion Stakes.’

Perhaps the Racing NSW marketing team had to be better than the rest if they were going to get the exposure they needed to make The Everest, a race which only three years old, a formidable fixture on the racing landscape.

Right from the outset they had the freedom to brand their new product and package it in a way that caught the attention of both punters and the public alike … be it through citing its own value and unfolding prestige, to arguable even courting controversy by promoting its rivalry with races in Racing Victoria who, perhaps unwittingly, took the bait and played into the game which gave The Everest even more publicity.

There are those who do not like the innovation of races like The Everest and there are those who dislike the brash way in which they believe Racing NSW go about their business, but the bottom line is that a new concept was visualised, created, and a plan carried through for The Everest to the point where it is now positioned front page, left, right and centre of most racing newsfeeds for months leading into the race itself.

Credit that to the Racing NSW marketing team … and, love them or hate them, their results show the advantage of a promotion policy that goes ahead with all guns blazing with the sole focus on their own brand and their own aims.

Selfish … maybe. Successful … absolutely, and therein lies a modern-day lesson.

There is so much competition for the gambling and social dollar these days … if you want a big part of it you have to go out and grab it. That is an unsettling concept for traditionalists and an unpalatable thought for many, but putting a marketing army on the front foot clearly is the direction to go.

By the way, for those who might get the impression I am siding with new racing concepts over tradition … I am not.

This article has nothing to do with the battle between the pure pristine of tradition (which is a mighty force in itself and worthy of every respect) and upstart innovation (which has well and truly arrived to rattle racing’s cage).

This is about marketing prowess and the ability to realise how to successfully take your brand to as wide a market as possible.

For anybody planning new ventures in business, not only in racing but elsewhere, a case study of Racing NSW’s marketing strategy for The Everest is well worth a second glance.

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