Monday, May 24, 2010

Consistently finding Affluent new owners the Holy Grail of Thoroughbred racing.

There are many legends surrounding the search for the Holy Grail with Chr├ętien de Troyes Arthurian anecdote being probably the most recognizable. According to the story Arthur’s knights searched for many years before Perceval found it at the abode of the Fisher King.

In the business of buying and selling race horses being able to consistently attract new affluent owners is akin to finding the Holy Grail. Quite obviously the affluent are the Holy Grail because not only do they have the means to pay a premium for quality horses they also have the means to pay all the bills.

But ask most within the Thoroughbred community and they’ll tell you that consistently attracting the affluent is just as difficult as finding the Holy Grail. They’ll tell you things like “until we get our house in order attracting new owners will be difficult.” Or, if it were easy then racing wouldn't be in the decline that it is. 

But what if I told you the affluent fit not only the financial but also the personality demographic to become owners?  Here are some facts about affluent males which back up my statements:

1) Lamborghini’s sell from 240k to 1.4million yet the 1.4mill sell out fastest and have the longest waiting list. Myth: women buy with emotion men buy with logic. Truth: women mature, men just get older. 

2) Men spend a lot of money on symbolic validation on their success, status, and prosperity. Example men aren’t clotheshorses they would shop at Wal-Mart but will train themselves to appreciate fashion in a means of self-validation. This buying for validation – what the are suppose to buy, where their suppose to patronize – extends to almost every product and service.

3) Status for men is more of a matter of competition and comparison. Affluent men will compete fiercely against other within their class for status through things like best new toy.

4) They seek approval, recognition, respect – some from only their peers others from the world at large all from those they do business with.

OK so let’s look at the facts: the affluent will spend big bucks to show off their success while competing against each other to gain respect. If this doesn’t scream Thoroughbred race horse owner then you’re not paying attention.  

A few more tidbits of information, at last count there were more than 11 million households with an annual income of one to nine million dollars. The ultra-affluent (defined as an annual income of over nine million) who also fit the demographic profile spend even more extravagantly. Some examples of their spending habits are that they spend on an average annual basis 30k on wine, 200k on jewelry, and 250k on clothes.  

The facts are that there is a huge untapped market of new affluent owners. They have the money, they fit the demographic profile so why aren’t they owners? Perhaps those charged with finding them don't know where to look or how to attract them. 

That's the real trick knowing where to look and how to market to them. I have spent over twenty years in the field of marketing and sales with much of that time being dedicated to becoming an expert in selling to the affluent.  I would be glad to speak with anyone who would like to learn how to find that Holy Grail. If you're interested in expanding your business you can contact me at:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Riding For Their Lives


The way I see it, Thoroughbred race horses have contributed to the very meaning of life, so they too deserve to retire with dignity and not be sent to the slaughterhouse just because they now do six furlongs in 1:16 instead of 1:12. 

We invite you to follow our journey, and if you'd like to sponsor us, just click on the link. 

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation currently cares for over 1200 unwanted horses. When you sponsor us, we are helping them in their mission to save ALL unwanted racehorses. 

Two men riding bikes over 620 miles, visiting eleven race tracks in twenty five days and saving 8,000 race horses by doing so. They need your help, they need your support, to find out how you can get involved:

Thoroughbred horses give us so much excitement, joy and even heart break. They run their hearts out and all they ask for in return is to be taken care of.   

A needed pat on the back

With a lot of negativity floating around the Thoroughbred industry it’s nice to see a major publication give the industry a pat on the back. That’s what the Thoroughbred Daily News did with its new spring magazine named “Success Stories”.

The online magazine details five different operations of various interests within the industry. Who although may have differing business modules all are “firm believers in doing things the right way”.

 At a time when we are inundated  with stories of diminishing revenues, abusive owners and never ending debate of slot machines it’s nice to have an injection of good news in the industry. Way to go Thoroughbred Daily News keep up the good work!

Side note: I still love ya’ even if you didn’t run my article on the tax break I discovered through Section 179 of the Economic Stimulus Package (The Paulick Report linked to it).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Check your tickets…

I noticed the sign as I made my annual Derby day contribution to Twin Spires. As I walked away from the counter I thought about looking through the dozen or so ticket in my hand, but decided against it. I reasoned that I had watched him punch in the numbers I dictated so what could be wrong with the tickets?

As the race ended I thought to myself “well as least I got an exacta”. I dutifully waited for the odds to be shown and was quite pleased to see the 76:1 odds. But when I began flipping through the losing tickets I noticed something wrong. The 2 / 4 boxed bet I had made was entered as a 2/ 4 straight bet. The pretty good payout I was already mentally spending was now nothing. My new mantra is and forever shall be “check your tickets”.   

5th Place??

Groovidute (the girl I picked as a runner in Sept Keeneland 08) came in 5th in her Maiden. At first I was disappointed then I looked it up and saw the horse that won was owned by West Point. Then I watched a reply of the race. ( 8th race) She broke from the three hole and immediately took a left turn and dove to the rail. But by the time the pack entered the back stretch she had a half length lead - last to first. She was intensely rank. Her head was straight up and she and the jockey were in a tug of war. By the time they reached the far turn she was worn out and faded back. She did reach within herself and gave what she had left going towards the line. So, all in all she actually did okay for her first time out. Obviously she wasn't ready to run her form proved that. But she has speed and attitude so hopefully they can turn that into a winner (if her handlers have a brain they will).