The Jockey Club has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. The largest commercial group in the sport, it runs the largest Racecourse Group in the UK by turnover (2013: £158.7m) across 15 courses including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket. In 2014 it saw attendances of 1.8m people and contributed to a total prize money of £19.1m. The company will offer £43m+ of total prize money in 2015. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing.
Despite being the UK’s second largest spectator sport, the Horse Racing industry can often find it difficult to reach casual fans beyond betting environments. With digital becoming an increasingly important destination for the marketing of events, The Jockey Club was seeking an effective way to leverage this channel.
In 2015 the company sought to drive significant uplift in ticketing and hospitality sales for the 2015 Cheltenham Festival. This campaign was also used as a test into the wider ability of digital technology to enhance interest in the sport. They were looking to engage with core racing enthusiasts alongside encouraging a new, relevant audience to visit the UK’s standout horseracing festival with friends and family.
The Jockey Club entered into a technology partnership with programmatic advertising leaders, RadiumOne. This partnership leveraged RadiumOne’s technology and data capabilities to identify over 3.5 million online profiles that had interacted at least five times with The Jockey Club’s content in some way over the preceding 90 days. This approach fused The Jockey Club’s own website data with analysis from RadiumOne’s programmatic data platform, providing unrivalled visibility into how people share and receive The Jockey Club’s content via social media.
RadiumOne began by taking audience engagement data from The Jockey Club’s 15 racecourse websites and social media feeds – including Aintree (home of the Grand National), Epsom (home of the Derby) and Cheltenham (home of The Festival). It then sought to harness and understand core Cheltenham racing fans engaging from all social media, website and mobile channels.
The process then applied RadiumOne’s technology to reach these core racing enthusiasts and relevant connected friends in the right place, at the right time and drive them to the Cheltenham online shop where eyeballs could be converted into sales. This allowed RadiumOne to understand racing fans engaging across all of the Jockey Club’s owned and earned digital platforms and subsequently scale them intelligently to provide and engage with an extended audience.
The campaign significantly improved the effectiveness of the Jockey Club’s marketing activity and added increased sponsorship value to its range of commercial partners. It also provided an amplified audience that could be reached outside of The Jockey Club’s own digital channels, across the entire web.
- Extended online racing audience of 3.5m people.
- ROI of £11 in sales for every £1 spent programmatically.
- Overall Click Through Rate (CTR) of 0.5 – 525% higher than UK industry average.
- Trial also revealed that when a sponsor and The Jockey Club were included in the same ad, effectiveness doubled.