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Social media, ADWs on agenda at Racing symposium

December 08, 2011

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The 38th Annual Symposium on Racing & Gaming came to a close Thursday, wrapping up an innovative week of panels focused on adjusting the current racing business model in order to meet the needs of the modern market. 

One of the final panels, “Social Media and the ADW: a Match Made in Heaven?” provided a look at how new technologies can be managed in ways that will re-engage current racing fans, while also stimulating new fan growth.  Moderator Chuck Champion, partner and CEO of Paladin Capital Partners, LLC, was quick to point out though that social media tools must be used very specifically. 

“You need to clearly understand who you want to reach,” Champion explained. “Then tailor the message to them, to get them to do what you want them to do.” Champion also noted that new fans will only come if racing chooses to invest. 

This belief was reiterated in “Big Challenges Facing the Little Guy,” when Corey Johnsen, President of Kentucky Downs explained, “If all your revenue comes from within your four walls, shut the place down because you have no chance of survival.” Using social media to communicate with potential fans and focusing on improving the guest experience at the racetrack will help re-establish racing as a profitable industry. 

In earlier panels, Jason Wilson, Vice President of Business Development of The Jockey Club, re-addressed the McKinsey Report and the efforts The Jockey Club is putting forth to implement their recommendations. 

The Race Track Industry Program has gained worldwide recognition for its annual Symposium on Racing & Gaming held in Tucson, Arizona each December since 1974. The event attracts attendees from across the United States and around the globe with cutting-edge topics and trends of importance to the pari-mutuel industry. (University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program) 

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