For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tracks Can Learn from Cal-Expo

With the Bronte Foundation Epilepsy Amateur Series concluded, which was sponsored by Lou Pena, Cal-Expo is teaching the rest of the industry something it can use.  The question is will the rest of the industry learn?

Just read what David Siegel had to say about the event; pay attention to what is bold faced.: 

“We did something really good here," commented California Amateur Club president David Siegel on the series. "A wonderful cause received a nice donation from Louie and the drivers and received some much needed publicity. The amateurs, track management and horsemen cooperated. I am hopeful that all involved took note of what can be accomplished when all of the oars row in unison. Moreover, involving charitable causes as part of one’s business can yield great benefits beyond the charity itself. In this case, the horsemen received some nice added purse monies and were on the winning side of media coverage. With all of that said, none of this would have been possible without the incredible generosity of time, money and energy of Lou Pena. With all of the challenges he has faced over the last several months, where others may have become centered on self, Louie gave more of himself to others in a totally selfless manner. We cannot thank him enough for his sponsorship of and involvement in this event.”

By having this event, not only did the charity win, the sport and Cal Expo won.  Just look at the publicity Cal-Expo received on television:
  • Amateur Club secretary Steve Chambers and driver-member Amanda Fraser were featured on the local ABC morning news live from the track on Wednesday.
  • On Friday, Lou Pena was interviewed on the local Univision affiliate.
  • On Saturday, Good Morning Sacramento, broadcasting live from the track with anchor Ken Rudolph, had features including Mr. Pena, Ms. Fraser, and professional driver Steve Wiseman.
Not a bad return on investment.  The charity wins; the track wins.  Cynics may say something like this would only work in small hick markets, but this was in Sacramento, CA; the state capital of California.  While not the size of the New York Market, it shows events like this can get you some publicity.  Maybe you don't have a Lou Pena donating money for this event, but certainly the horsemen can put money up to have a special event whether it involves amateur drivers or not.

I've been saying this for a while.  Racetracks and horsemen need to support local charities in their market, being part of the community.  Just running a food drive for a local food bank which is marketed towards existing customers will not do it.  You need to get part of the community, which normally would not be going to the track involved.  Good Will goes a long way.

Hopefully, some of the big tracks will learn something from the small track on the West Coast.

No comments: