This blog is addressed to all the drivers in harness racing,
You are the stars of harness racing and you need to act like it. The horses are no different than the race cars in NASCAR racing, although they provide the horse power, you are the difference between winning and losing in most cases.
As a harness racing driver you must be able to get the most out of a independent thinking animal, coax them to their best performance, weave them through tight openings, strategize in a split second what other drivers are going to do, (no time outs like football, basketball, hockey to figure out the strategy in the middle of the game) expose your bodies to unprotected danger (no roll cage and safety devices like cars have) and do all this while stressing out that you are the 4-5 favourite and if you lose race fans will be cursing you. I can’t think of another sport with so much pressure.
You are racing eight to 10 times per night, you control everything that happens in the race, and you are the most physical and mentally adept athletes in any sport.
So now that we have established that you are the stars of the game you have become those stars to the fans of our sport and more importantly to the new fans of our sport.
ADD EXCITEMENT TO EVERY WIN AND ENGAGE THE PUBLIC!
- You must become more like drivers in a comparable sport like NASCAR where they jump on top of their car when they win.
- Hockey players celebrate every goal like it is the biggest thing that ever happened to them.
- Even golfers celebrate a great putt by pumping their fist and they are the most laid back people I have ever seen.
- Football players are so animated that they have put rules in to stop the celebration.
BUT GUESS WHAT...FANS LOVE IT!
I have not seen every driver in North America but I can say is thank god for Rick Zeron. Unfortunately because he is the only one who does any signature move it does not get the fans attention like it should. However if you all adopted your own celebration it would become something all fans look forward and they will begin cheering for you like they do athletes in other sports.
Rick once gave his whip to my son and now he cheers Rick on like he did with Mats Sundin of the Leafs. We need to create stars that fans what to go to the races and cheer to victory like they do all the other teams in the city.
Fans love a winner and they want to see that you're happy and they want to cheer your success. They love winners even more in our sport because they have usually cashed a ticket.
If you don’t feel you can get animated in front of the crowd go to the fans around the winner's circle shake their hand or hi-five them and thank them for attending.
Fans come back if they feel appreciated and enjoy an experience with the stars of the track.
Here is an explanation about baby boomers from a marketing magazine:
Boomers crave experience because they won’t believe anything until they see it, touch it, and experience it for themselves. In the new consumer brandscape, it is no longer traditional media or top-down authority carrying the weight. In fact, the boomer’s scepticism of the advertising and marketing industry on the whole is at an all-time high. In a new upside-down influencer hierarchy, it is the boomers, themselves, who are calling for the information they are seeking and whom they will allow into their lives. Whenever you can, don’t just tell them. Have them live it for themselves. The realm of public relations, in cultivating word-of-mouth, editorial, event, and educational opportunities, is increasingly becoming more effective in cutting through the hype and giving them what they most crave: a direct, first-hand experience with your product or service. Sample the product, entertain while you educate, engage with them on-line, establish a living, breathing relationship with the boomer consumer, and you will have the experience you crave, as well; an enhanced bottom line.
In the same realm of making the experience memorable for our fans let’s discuss the dining room. Most new fans attend their first race in the dining room through some company or group event or with friends.
They would be truly engaged if you visited the dining room before the races dressed in racing uniform and thanked them for coming. I believe it would make their night much more exciting and they would cheer for and maybe even wager on you in a night that they are not sure they figure out how to pick a horse.
I know you are all free agents and you are not paid to visit and engage fans but you do make your living from a percentage of the purse and you have no job security. You need to make sure the future of the sport is secure and this is done by fans having an experience at the tracks.
BE THE STAR YOU COULD BE! Maybe we will begin the driver celebration crusade at Adrenaline!
- exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end or engage in a crusade for a certain cause
- be an advocate for
- campaign: a series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end
Until next time...join the crusade!
See you at the track,