British horseracing is in line to receive a &£10m boost to its plans for a major marketing offensive.
A sub-committee of the Levy Board, the government-appointed body which oversees the betting industry’s financial contribution to racing, has recommended &£10m be ploughed into the marketing of racing over the next three years.
Late last year, the industry’s call for urgent marketing action culminated in a report by the British Horseracing Board (BHB) outlining a strategy to broaden the sport’s appeal to 18- to 35-year-old ABC1s (MW December 1 1999).
But the BHB’s recommendation of a &£30m three-year marketing budget was slammed by industry observers as unrealistic. Critics said the BHB was using the report to increase the amount of money given annually by the Levy Board for a marketing initiative administered jointly with the betting industry. Last year it received &£700,000.
Now a Levy Board sub-committee chaired by British Energy chairman and former marketer Sir John Robb has recommended the amount be increased to &£10m – spread over three years.
Robb says: “This will benefit the whole industry and support the initiatives which are so important if the sport is to attract new money.”
A three-strong marketing committee, comprising one executive each from the BHB, betting industry and Levy Board, will draw up the final marketing strategy.
Sources say it is likely to include a national ad campaign, although plans will not be finalised until the end of April.
The decision will effectively boost the annual marketing budget for horseracing from less than &£700,000 to &£3.3m.