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Paris Forum Told "Install Fan Experience Technology"

Friday, 7th October 2011

Also in France, 140 representatives from 27 countries attended the European Pari Mutuel Association’s 4th Racing & Betting Business Forum in Paris. Among the speakers:

  • France’s Pari Mutuel Urbain president Philippe Germond declared: “If we do not change, if we do not move fast, we are going to suffer in this changing world. If we are static, we are going to be in danger in the next 5-10 years.” Germond advocated attracting “a new generation” to racing via the creation of new bets & the installation of “fan experience” technology such as Trakus at racecourses.
  • US-based Trakus chief operating officer Michael Ciacciarelli explained his company’s technology produces “visual representations of all runners’ positions in races” (especially how horses are changing position) via tracking devices attached to the saddle & emphasised “Trakus is the answer” to racing’s need to supply “the detailed kind of data other sports provide to fans”. Ciacciarelli said “racing around the globe can benefit from Trakus” (already trialled at Churchill Downs in Kentucky, at the Singapore Turf Club, at Woodbine in Toronto & Veliefendi in Istanbul) noting it can also “drive television graphics for racing, as well as be personalised for mobile devices”. Ciacciarelli said the same data “can be collected at all racecourses that use the technology” & then be customised depending on market preferences”. He summed up: “We welcome the opportunity to become the common language for horse racing world-wide.”
  • Singapore Turf Club vice president Kim Heng Teo emphasised the need to “connect fans, from the youngest up, to horses” in a modern world which offers fewer chances to become attached to horses & naturally progress on to racing. He said the STC created a riding school as one initiative & noted: “Where there is passion, the money will follow.”
  • Swedish ATG racing & betting organisation chief executive Remy Nilson advocated “starting in the head of the customer” (when attempting to satisfy public expectations) & reported on ATG focus group research aimed at “giving people as much as they want”. As a result, ATG’s website offers “free replays of racing going back several years” plus other similarly detailed free information.
  • Britain’s Racing Enterprises chief executive Rod Street detailed “encouraging growth” in racetrack attendance, television viewing & sponsorship income following the launch of Racing For Change in 2009 (which gave top priority to placing racing stories in mainstream media, the formation of racing clubs for young people at universities & the promotion of specific horses via social media). Street explained: “Racing For Change isn’t about changing the core product. All we’ve got to do is present ourselves, be more relevant, simplify the language. The critical thing is to engage with stake-holders & customers & keep customers at the heart of your business.”
  • Hong Kong Jockey Club executive director of racing (& former New York Racing Association executive) William Nader said the key factors in successful exchange of major international events through simulcasting will be “quality races, large fields, big betting pools, integrity & extensive information”. He emphasised; “You must make sure the product is right to make a really compelling experience for the customer.”
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