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Social Websites Help Tracks Market Product

Friday, 16th October 2009

In New York, industry leaders told this week's International Simulcast Conference (attended by more than 250 racing officials at Saratoga Springs) that "racing must use social networking tools such as Facebook & Twitter to stay competitive with other sports," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. Panelists emphasised racing does not lack for opportunities to grow, "but for a willingness to change". New York Racing Association communications director Dan Silver said that while mainstream media coverage of racing has decreased, "social media coverage of the sport via blogs & Twitter has increased" & noted: "The key is finding ways to use these platforms. Every track out there should have its top handicapper maintain a Twitter page." For example, NYRA racing analyst Andy Serling maintains a Twitter account with 1,492 followers & Silver said Serling's social media presence "encourages fans to wager on races. Such tools may have everything from handicapping content to feature stories about stable area life." Jessica Chapel of BreedersCup360 (a website dedicated strictly to the upcoming Breeders Cup races) added: "It helps to bind people into racing." And Equidaily publisher Seth Merrow explained new technology "also keeps existing fans from losing interest. Like any business, it's a lot easier to keep a fan you already have than to develop a new fan. They're just fun kinds of things that can keep fans engaged. The internet & horse racing is a good partnership."

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