The Mirror newspaper has signed a £10m deal to provide press
coverage and reader promotions from now to the end of 2002 to broaden
the appeal of horse racing.
The paper's publisher, MGN, put together the agreement with Discover
Racing, which was formed by the Racing and Betting Marketing Group to
promote racing as a family day out.
The deal could prove a model for MGN's recently-formed strategic
business development unit, which is tasked with finding 'across the
line' affinity packages in a variety of sectors.
The move coincides with plans to bring forward the abolition of gambling
duty hitherto paid by those placing bets. This would bring them in line
with betting online and at racecourses and, the racing industry
believes, could increase betting turnover by up to 40 per cent from
The Mirror deputy editor Des Kelly is yet to appoint a dedicated
editorial contact for the Discover Racing project. A spokesman admitted:
'It is early days. The editorial schedule is yet to be agreed.' But he
said the participation of the Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and Trinity
Mirror's regional papers was being investigated.
MGN's specialist title, Racing Post, will be involved in a separate
He said: 'People think racing is expensive, elitist, intimidating and
that the rules regulating betting are unfathomable.' The campaign would
seek to prove this was not the case, he added.
Discover Racing was originally trialled in Scotland, with the intention
of using below the line advertising support, until MGN offered editorial