Racecourse firm hunts for chief

United Racecourses, the owner of Sandown Park, Kempton Park and Epsom Downs courses, is seeking its first marketing director.

The post was created after marketing manager Tim Darby announced he was leaving next month to join the Professional Darts Association as managing director.

United Racecourses hopes to have his successor in place by September.

The first task of the recruit will be to rebrand the organisation’s three racecourses and attract a wider cross-section of customers. A direct marketing strategy is also a priority.

The successful candidate will head a team that has been expanded to five marketers.

United Racecourses is investing £23m in Sandown Park and has just finished developing Kempton Park at a cost of £?m.

United Racecourses chief financial officer Paul Fisher says: “Horse racing is entering an exciting era but in order to survive it needs to attract a wider clientele – not just the enthusiasts. Horse racing is facing tough competition from all sports, including rugby and football for the leisure pound. It needs to hammer home a stronger message if it is going to get more people through the doors.”

The sport has just completed a ten-year, £320m deal for broadcasting and other rights with Go Racing, a consortium that includes Channel 4 and BSkyB.

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