How Horse Racing Can Embrace Innovation to Build a Better Future

Fans at Hawthorne racecourse. Fans at Hawthorne racecourseWith 53 per cent of horse racing fans over 55 years of age, an obvious question must be how to attract a younger audience.

Racecourses have attempted to broaden their appeal by tagging concerts on to race days or offering student discounts.

However, while this may sell extra tickets at the time, it isn’t shaking up the fundamentals of the sport to enhance the racing experience itself and therefore fails to provide a long-term solution.

Authorities must consider how racing is positioned to appeal to the next generation of millennials, and beyond that, Generation Z.

Check out Ed Meyer’s preview of the Belterra Park meet in Ohio

Vast differences exist in the interests and media habits of over-55s and under-35s. For example, specifically within existing horse racing fans, only 33 per cent of over-55s show an interest in the latest technology products, compared to 62 per cent of 18-34 year olds.

Similar disparities appear when it comes to digitalization, consumer behavior and technological engagement.

Consequently, what has worked in the past for the existing demographic of horse racing fan will not have the same appeal to future audiences…

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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