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View Poll Results: What do you think?

Voters
34. You may not vote on this poll
  • It's fine by me if it increases interest for the event

    28 82.35%
  • No need to go in that direction even if it's cheeky

    2 5.88%
  • No strong opinion either way

    4 11.76%
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 1999
    Posts
    17,599

    Default Too racy? Promotion of steeplechasing

    The title I suppose is an unintended double entendre but like this planned ad campaign it might catch the eye of others. What do you think about these organizers using perhaps risque suggestions to generate more buzz? Is it going to result in a long term increase or just a laugh then alienation of those fans who find it offensive?

    The promotions will be for this steeplechase, Saturday Sep 27, 2008: Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs, Timonium, Maryland

    Marland Daily Record Sep 22, 2008 "Shawan Downs’ racy attempt to bring in more race fans"

    Excerpt

    Leather. Whips. Chaps … and studs.

    With that buildup, the last thing people might expect is a plug for a traditionally high-society event — but that’s exactly where this train of thought is going.

    “Who knew good clean fun could sound so dirty?” asks the punch line of the ad campaign for the Shawan Downs equestrian center’s Legacy Chase, scheduled to run Saturday.

    The advertising campaign, developed and marketed by Baltimore-based Planit, aims to appeal to those outside of the usual “hoity-toity” racing crowd, said the agency’s co-founder, Matthew Doud.

    “Our fundamental challenge was, how do we broaden the reach beyond what everybody else already knows about it?” Doud said.

    Some might say they are taking a risk and potentially insulting horse racing loyalists. After all, one restroom graffiti ad quips, “For a good time, call [Shawan Downs’ phone number]. Horses will be involved.”

    But Charles Fenwick Jr., director of Shawan Downs, said he doesn’t think it goes too far.

    “Maybe some of the stuff ought to be a little edgy,” he said. “My thought was if we’re going to bring this guy on, we better not put too much of our own thoughts into this because this is what we’re getting him to do.”
    Trevor Villet, associate creative director of the campaign, said the stopping power of the seemingly risqué words helps immediately broaden the audience because they can grab anyone’s attention.

    “We wanted to immediately dispel these preconceived notions that steeplechase racing is a hoity-toity sport,” he said. “Then once we’ve brought them in we can inform them this is another wonderful way to spend time with friends and family.”

    In exchange for a corporate tent at the event, Planit’s “Hard Riding Maidens” campaign appears online and in print.

    “The viralness of our e-mail campaign has been really good,” adds Doud. “As has been the guerrilla aspect of seeing it in unexpected places like our restroom advertising. When timing is short and budgets are tight and products are interesting, it forces you to be creative.”

    Others in the racing industry applaud the unusual effort.

    “I think it’s important to do that,” said Lou Raffetto, president and CEO of the National Steeplechase Association and former president of the Maryland Jockey Club. “That’s probably true with a lot of businesses in horse racing over the years that they haven’t been thinking enough outside of the box.”



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2001
    Location
    Ft Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    3,900

    Default

    The ad is fine by me. Another thing they could certainly improve on is announcing. At least at the pari-mutuel tracks. When they have jump races at Saratoga and Belmont you can almost hear Durkin yawning.
    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

    What's the status on Tuco?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2003
    Location
    Flint Hill, Virginia
    Posts
    2,548

    Default

    I love it. LOVE it. That's what jump racing needs. A slap on the ass (as it were .....) A good spanking.
    )
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    Do we have a copy of the ad? Chaps?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2006
    Location
    Hunt Valley, MD
    Posts
    2,094

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Toadie's mom View Post
    The ad is fine by me. Another thing they could certainly improve on is announcing. At least at the pari-mutuel tracks. When they have jump races at Saratoga and Belmont you can almost hear Durkin yawning.
    I'm slightly partial to Will O'Keefe. He's a fantastic announcer...though only at the local point to points and sanctioned meets.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 1999
    Posts
    17,599

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lalahartma1 View Post
    Do we have a copy of the ad?
    I've been trying to find any examples of the promotions. I thought perhaps the Steeplechase Times preview issue from mid September might have had an ad for the race but it didn't. Or even youtube.com or the race's main website - no such luck.

    Which only further makes one wonder about the promotion's aim. Granted I don't live in Maryland so printed displays of any kind likely won't be accessable on-line nor radio spots.

    This is the agency: http://www.planitagency.com/

    (Planit @ 500 E. Pratt St., 10th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202)

    The agency's work is seemingly praised but their website appears to be largely focusing on efforts from 2006 and news that only goes up to June 2008.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    19,748

    Default

    Well at $50 per car load or whatever they are charging they must not be hurting too bad for cash. I can't imagine anyone paying that, but they do.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,377

    Default

    I attended that event a couple of years ago, and would be back if it weren't for my work schedule. Fun day, very nice facility, just a cool event all the way around.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    506

    Default

    *Absolut Equestrian*

    "The plural of anecdote is not fact...except in the horse industry"



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2004
    Location
    Red Bank, NJ
    Posts
    1,647

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Absolut Equestrian View Post

    Cheeky fun- I think it's cute.
    Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Website



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,395

    Default

    The ad doesn't really get 'steeplechasing' into the picture, does it?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Posts
    4,372

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    Well at $50 per car load or whatever they are charging they must not be hurting too bad for cash. I can't imagine anyone paying that, but they do.
    Yeah they do, 15,000 people last year, to hang out on a grassy hillside.
    When you think about it, $50 for a car load is nothing really. Four people in a car is $12.50 a piece, for a day's fun. You'd pay that or more for entry into most any half ass sporting event. It could cost you up to 2 or 3 times that to get in to days racing in Europe, and we're not talking top shelf racing, but midweek, at a provincial track.



  13. #13
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    Or you could go to Laurel for $3, Delaware is free I think. I guess I am just used to flat racing. I can PM the get in free secret if anyone is interested in going but doesn't want to pay.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2006
    Location
    Hunt Valley, MD
    Posts
    2,094

    Default

    That ad is quite...interesting.

    Shawan Downs though is a GREAT course. You can pretty much see the entire course from the hillside, which is quite different than most of your normal steeplechasing tracks. I'm hoping to be there, and using my "get in free" secret



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2003
    Location
    Long Branch, NJ 07740
    Posts
    794

    Default

    I love the ad! You can tell immediately from the music and hoofbeats that it is not really x-rated or anything, and I think it displays the kind of imagination that ALL of racing should use to attract newcomers to our "events," be it flats, or anything else.
    Kudos to the steeplechase people to step outside the box.

    This is why racing is going down the tubes, because no one can come up with a creative way to show it to a new group of potential fans.

    We have to stop being our own little club -- and invite outsiders in to play! Why not?
    If traditional ads have not worked for the past 25 years (unless it's the Triple Crown or the BC), someone's got to do something to inject some FUN into the sport for newbies.

    Great job! As a PR person, I am all for change in our industry, or we will lose it.
    Turning For Home, Inc.
    Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program
    www.patha.org
    turningforhome@patha.org



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2004
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,194

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lalahartma1 View Post
    Do we have a copy of the ad? Chaps?
    Here 'tis:

    Hard Riding Maidens
    **********
    Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

    **********
    "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."



  17. #17
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    Did they run the races at Shawan yesterday? My daughter didn't have to go to cheerleading because the football game was cancelled so we were going to go to Shawan but the rain never let up. It still rained most of today.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2001
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    Coatesville, Pa.
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    5,468

    Default

    They ran the first 3 races then cancelled.

    ~Emily
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries



  19. #19
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    I couldn't fathom a way that the course could be safe with all that rain but what do I know? Guess its a good thing we didn't make the trip. Do they reschedule or is this it?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2001
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    Coatesville, Pa.
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    Default

    Yea that was it.

    Our filly ran 2nd!!


    **Whoops... Correction, they cancelled after the 2nd not the 3rd. My bad.

    ~Em
    Last edited by Xctrygirl; Sep. 29, 2008 at 11:18 AM.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries



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