MOUNT LAUREL, NJ: West Point Thoroughbreds (WPT), a racehorse ownership company, hopes to spark renewed interest in the sport with a new campaign. “FATE,” launched February 24, stands for Find a Thoroughbred Enthusiast.
The company aims to not only raise awareness of the sport overall but also increase attendance at races, and respond to public scrutiny about situations such as the euthanizing of Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby in 2008, according to Congie DeVito, director of communications for WPT.
"We're trying to raise the profile of racing to casual fans and have those that are already invested bring others into the sport," said Congie DeVito, director of communications for WPT. "If we were going to launch an initiative like this, we needed to capture the public at the zenith of their interest," meaning right now - the months leading up to the Triple Crown in June.
WPT hired Shorey PR as its AOR in early February to help with the initiative. In order to kick off the campaign, it helped design a state of the industry webinar featuring the founder and CEO of the horse company, Terry Finley. He discussed attendance and economic challenges, as well as the overall reputation of horseracing as a sport. The campaign reached out to trade media and industry insiders for the event, and plans to reach out to more mainstream press in the coming weeks.
“This is going to be a sustained campaign that will look to engage a larger and larger scope as we go along,” DeVito said. To do that, the campaign will include traditional media outreach to "expand beyond the trades and reach out to mainstream and lifestyle publications," he said. However, it will be “heavily focused on the viral tactics and social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and those types of elements.”