Genaro: Racing needs to make its own ‘Luck’

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Brooklyn Backstretch blogger Teresa Genaro was among the many horse racing fans who watched Sunday’s pilot episode for the new HBO dramatic series Luck.  After reading some of the disappointed reactions to the show, Genaro wonders why racing supporters tend to “grasp” at each new TV or movie production as if it might help turn things around for the sport:

“Does this happen in other industries? Does law enforcement hope that Law and Order, CSI, and Without A Trace will depict their professions positively? Do doctors want ER and Grey’s Anatomy to make patients feel better about getting medical care?”

“I don’t understand the desire to put the burden of publicizing racing on television producers, on networks, and on authors. It’s not their job; if it were, they’d be in PR instead of the creative arts.”

“Just as we decry the reliance on slots money to fund our purses, we should decry the reliance on others to fill the seats. As we’ve seen after each Big Media Event, the attendance and handle needles don’t move very much. I don’t expect that luck to change.”

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  • Sinking Ship

    The reason why racing supporters tend to “grasp” at each new TV or movie production as if it might help turn things around for the sport is because currently there is little or no marketing/advertising for it, so any exposure is welcomed! You don’t have to market or advertise for law enforcement or the medical profession! One of the reasons racing is dying a slow death is because of the lack of advertising … out of sight, out of mind. And any advertising that’s done is usually aired during a racing TV broadcast or printed in track programs, something that never ceases to amaze me! Pick up a track program at Parx and you’ll see an ad placed by TrackPackPa, extolling the virtues of a day at the races! This is asinine … people are already at the track if they have a program in their hands! Advertising and marketing needs to reach mainstream media, which is why “Luck” is seen as a vehicle to interest newcomers. Unfortunately there are few, if any, racetracks in America that want to spend the money to advertise.

  • ace

    And why is that?
    Because the sport is boring…more boring than baseball.
    So the tracks don’t waste their money chasing imaginary new customers who will find the game…boring.

  • sharon

    hawthorne and ap advertise alot

    knot balmmoral tho…

  • David

    The vast majority of current an past racing fans would suggest racing fails to promote itself, “oh if they could just do some decent marketing things would be so much better . . .” You know what, things wouldn’t be much better and I’ll do you one better – if racing improved its communications’ plan (the whole of marketing) it may even make things worse. Ace is correct in that Racing has to look at itself and what’s being sold in the mirror and acknowledge it pails against the menu items out there to fill up expendable time. As to expendable money, Racing should focus on ways to reduce the degree of difficulty so that if you ever do get some new users at the track they don’t leave with blood in their shoes. No, not handicapping seminars, free programs or vouchers, .50 pick-3’d, Super High 5’s, etc.; no I’m talking fundamental reform of the pari-mutuel system. And about reform, have someone other than posters herein do it. Negative? Yes but, worse, reality.

  • Sinking Ship

    I don’t find it boring in the least … to each his own. I find handicapping the races a challenge, and the races themselves gloriously exciting.

  • David

    I’m with you Sinking and add that I still subscribe to a newspaper but it doesn’t alter the fact we’re a shrinking minority that (apparently) can’t begin to absorb the amount of product being produced.

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