Whenever we see Ferrari’s “prancing horse” logo, we can’t help wondering why horsepower can’t meet racing’s horsepower and combine to rev up the image of both products.
(Source: Logos Collection)
For Ferrari, Hong Kong is its biggest market with many trainers, owners and a few jockeys extremely loyal fans of the brand and product.
Trainer Tony Cruz, for example, breathes and sleeps Ferrari and will crawl to the ends of the world to be the first owner of the latest model. As he keeps saying, “I wanna put the pedal to the metal, baby.” Right, Putha Man.
One race meeting where the latest models are showcased in the middle of Shatin Racecourse with some of Ferrari’s greatest drivers on course for a Ferrari Day, jockeys competing with Prancing Horse armbands and The Prancing Horse Cup is something we have been longing to see.
(Source: King HD Wallpaper)
To us, it can be such a great marriage of sporting products and whether it happens or not, some food for thought about the current and future sponsorship of racing.
(Source: The Drum)
Every industry needs sponsors or, what we prefer to describe as business partners and with no master and slave relationship which never works out. One will revolt and become a real Kunta Kinte.
(Source: Deviant Art)
When it comes to sports and sponsorship, horse racing is at the bottom of the heap and heading towards demotion when compared to soccer, basketball, F1, golf, cricket and the millions paid in sponsorship and appearance fees to cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, every player in the NBA and football’s Premier League.
(Source: Sports Logos)
At the moment, Longines is the one brand that has committed to horse racing on a global level and the sport should be forever thankful for this.
The question is this: And now what? What more can racing give Longines other than some old-fashioned “branding”?
For example, Longinus has some great global brand ambassadors- Kate Winslett, Andre Agassi and Stefi Graf- er, and Jude Law???- but for a brand so closely aligned to horse racing to not have a Racing Ambassador is baffling.
(Source: Samuel’s Design)
But, has this idea even been presented to Longines? Sometimes, the most obvious ideas are taken for granted and opportunities are missed.
(Source: The Slice)
Who could this person be? For us, Francesca Cumani would be a great choice.
(Source: Adelaide Now)
Perhaps even Chinese actor-singer and horse owner Aaron Kwok. But something this obvious must be presented- and with a long-term strategy.
Having said this, as wonderful as she might be, Miss Cumani needs someone like Simon Fuller who manages the careers of the Beckhams, Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray to make this happen and close the deal. Aaron Kwok has the management clout behind him.
Frankly, racing on a global scale can do much by forming a partnership with the softly-spoken and business savvy entrepreneur who produced the track “19” for Paul Hardcastle before managing the Spice Girls and bringing in Pepsi for the ride, creating the Idol franchise and strengthening it with AT&T and Coca-Cola and then making David Beckham’s deal with Galaxy come true. Simon knows the importance of sponsorship inside out and upside down.
(Source: Grand Prix 247)
Again, when it comes to sponsorship, racing clubs can learn from the many foibles of music companies- and even ad agencies.
There is always that honeymoon period once the deal is done. Everyone loves everybody and dances to Strangers In The Night and a Whole Lotta Love.
(Source: Unearthed Comics)
This goes on for around three months, the first campaign or sponsorship deal is done and then…a roaring silence.
Then comes the bleak and scary “unhappy client” period. Why?
Suddenly, someone high up on the client side is unhappy with only their logo on a poster or on the backdrop of a stage. But much more than this, the client has their own internal marketing problems and is looking to the new partners for guidance, ideas and, above all, proactivity.
(Source: Mr Sshaimaa)
It’s all part of give and take and that important thing called the ROI- Return On Investment.
(Source: The Scan Jose Group)
In the racing world, we are still unsure where sponsorship and partnership exists on the totem pole of the Corporate tree and where creativity and understanding the wants and needs of clients fit in. Or are these even part of the process?
(Source: I Stocking)
Sure, racing clubs have their “blue chip” clients, but why the sport cannot attract Nike or Adidas or Red Bull or Apple or Samsung- and the Prancing Horse is something we cannot understand. Are we just not doing it well enough- selling the sport to these brands?
(Source: Fisful Of Talent)
One has to wonder if the marketing heads of these brands even have horse racing on their radars. And if they don’t, whose fault is that?
Sponsorship is a vital part of marketing and marketing is vital in taking horse racing to where it’s never been to before and then see where racing goes from here, there and everywhere.
(Source: Victory Tastes Yellow)
And to end on an ironic note, who is the largest sponsor of Hong Kong- the city? The Hong Kong Jockey Club and what it has donated to the city and its people for decades.
What’s the ROI it receives from the government other than the obvious?
If nothing else, well, that working partnership needs to be renewed so it’s a win-win situation for both parties and not one that’s just taken for granted year in and year out.
Taking any sponsor for granted is simply bad business.
(Source: Vimeo CDN)
AND THE SWEDISH DERBY GOES TO…
Trained by Lennart Reiterskiold, HURRICANE RED ridden by Elione Chavez is seen below winning the Swedish Derby.
It was a winning double for Chavez whose wife- Danish jockey Dian Danekild gave birth to their baby five weeks prematurely. All are doing fine!