This summer, owners and breeders participating in the Indiana Horse Racing Commission’s (IHRC) Indiana Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Breed Development Programs were invited to learn about the basics and key points to marketing and advertising their farms and stallion at Indiana Grand Race Course and Casino.
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Concepts such as tackling social media, building an eye-catching website, writing press releases and basic public relations were part of the tutorial. Chad Mendell from EquiSeen, Jen Roytz from Topline Communications, Denis Blake from American Racehorse and Vance Hanson from TwinSpires.com shared their years of experience and knowledge in the industry, making for a low-key informational discussion that benefitted everyone.
“The seminar gave me some good ideas to get started marketing my farm as a new breeder,” said Sandra Walter, a Thoroughbred breeder in Central Indiana. “I hadn’t considered using social media to help market and sell my Indiana-bred foals, but now I will.”
Knowing that breeders have only five to ten seconds to catch someone’s attention with a website, Mendell pushed attendees to think outside of the box and use emotions to create action. Roytz agreed, saying equine advertising should either tug on the heartstrings or make the public laugh.
“We wanted to give our breeders and owners the tools to help themselves,” said Jessica Barnes, Director of Racing and Breed Development for the IHRC. “We know we have a great incentive program, but not many outside of the state knows. The Commission is working to increase public knowledge, but we know our breeders need to push their programs more as well.”
The marketing seminars were recorded and will be available online at a later date.
The seminars are a first in what will be a series of educational opportunities for participants in the state’s breed development programs. The effort is a first of its kind amongst racing commissions in the country.