LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club have launched a national ad campaign titled “Still. Running. Strong.” to promote Thoroughbred racing as major racetracks across the country resume live racing without spectators during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations announced today.
The campaign, which includes broadcast, digital, and social media elements, comes at a time when other major sports are on hiatus, and horse racing is receiving unprecedented levels of live television coverage on NBC Sports and FOX Sports.
In addition to Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club, significant financial support for the campaign was provided by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA); TVG, an affiliate of the FanDuel Group; the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA); and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).
“As more of our major venues get back to live racing and with people at home seeking diversion and entertainment, we wanted to be proactive about promoting the sport to a broader audience,” said Drew Fleming, president, and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup. “Horse racing has a unique opportunity to lead the way as we resume operations safely and, in doing so, provide fun and excitement for millions of sports fans and bettors across the country.”
The campaign highlights the bond between human and horse along with the thrill of watching and betting on horses that sets horse racing apart. Digital and social media executions promote the legal on-line wagering aspects of the sport, directing people to a new landing page on America’s Best Racing’s website, featuring fan education materials, wagering basics, and links to horse racing’s advanced-deposit wagering platforms.
“With racing returning to major circuits and the addition of many hours of live programming on Fox Sports and NBC Sports there is now a unique opportunity to appeal to new fans and ask them to sample Thoroughbred racing,” said Jim Gagliano, president & COO of The Jockey Club. “Our goal is to increase awareness of racing as an option for these potential customers, engage with them, and provide the initial tools for them to learn more and break down barriers to participation. We are grateful to NTRA, TVG, KTA, and TOBA for supporting our efforts to promote racing and look forward to working with others to grow the campaign.”
“On behalf of our member tracks and horsemen’s organizations, we are happy to support this collaborative effort, especially during this unique window of opportunity,” said Alex Waldrop, NTRA president, and CEO.
While most professional sports seasons have been sidelined or restricted to mitigate risks associated with human-to-human contact in the midst of the pandemic, horse racing has been able to operate safely in many jurisdictions under strict screening, sanitation, and health protocols under guidance from public health officials and other experts.
The campaign launches today and will run on NBC Sports, FOX Sports, and a variety of targeted digital and social channels. It was developed by Boston-based agency CTP, the Breeders’ Cup’s longtime advertising agency.