Horse racing is one of the oldest sports around, and generations of families have enjoyed the tradition of heading to the race track for decades. While horse racing is alive and well, there’s one generation missing consistently from the track: Millennials.
If Millennials continue to be absent at races, horse racing may disappear before our eyes. So, how do we get a younger generation to fall in love with racing like the generations before them? Here are some ideas:
Make it a Social Event
Think Kentucky Derby, but a little more modern and budget-friendly for everyone. Some hardcore racetrack goers are happy to go to the track alone, place their bet, and talk to no one else.
However, if you want to draw in the Millennials, make it more inviting for friends to get together and have a good time while watching horses race. Incorporate a music festival or some other entertainment to make it an all-day affair. The more things you have going on, the more likely you’ll draw a crowd and hold their attention.
Rethink “High-Class” Food and Drink
Many thoroughbred tracks offer fine dining experiences, but it may not appeal to the younger generation. Think food trucks or healthy foods with vegan and vegetarian options. Anything that’s quick and casual. Serving craft beer or having an espresso cart may also appeal to a younger crowd.
Always Offer Free Wi-Fi
Most venues offer free wi-fi, but if racetracks want to draw a crowd, they should always offer free wi-fi. Wi-fi is essential to keeping the crowd entertained during the slow times.
It may also be advantageous for thoroughbred tracks to get on social media if they haven’t already; let visitors check-in and tag in photos.
Meet and Greet
Millennials may be more drawn to the track if they have the opportunity to meet the jockeys, see the stables, and get up close and personal with some of the horses; a perfect picture taking an opportunity. If a track already offers this opportunity, make sure it’s inexpensive for everyone to enjoy.
Do a Fundraising Event
Millennials are a socially conscious group of folks. If you want to see a younger generation hit the track, hold a fundraising event or give a portion of proceeds to a local charity.
Horse tracks can have a vibrant and prosperous future as long as they continue to think of creative ways to draw in a younger generation. The biggest challenge is to get Millennials to keep coming back and making it a tradition that they will pass down to the next generation.