Even though on course attendances countrywide are down, KZN racing operator Gold Circle have upped their social media game dramatically to promote the sport to existing and prospective new fans and even at a relatively low key meeting they will attract a healthy crowd.
“We have seen results – the Durban View room is packed out most Friday nights – the competitions are swelling – on course attendance on a Friday at Greyville and some Sundays too are better – we find people coming to Greyville are enjoying what we offer them,” suggests media team player Warren Lenferna.
The passionate Gold Circle media team, headed up by Andrew Harrison, have for a while now attacked the social media market in a big way to help promote the sport of horse racing and betting.
“The team has realised that unless the sport is promoted, we will be unable to attract and educate new blood,” says Warren Lenferna, a regular face in the newly refurbished GTV studio which operates on racedays.
Harrison and the social media team of Nikita Maistry, Candiese Marnewick, Tawanda Taruvinga and Lenferna are supported by Stephen Marshall, Gold Circle Senior Marketing and Events Manager, Graeme Hawkins, Ken Tweddell and Sipha Mlobeli.
“Everyone has their own ideas, knows their strengths and talents and we are lucky to have the team that we do,” said Harrison. “A more passionate bunch you will be hard pressed to find.”
The team meet on a weekly basis to discuss the promotion of certain race meetings, ways to place bets and to get the information out to the public.
The recent Anthony Delpech honour day was an example of what they’d like to do more of.
“We go out and meet the visiting horses arriving at the various centres for champions season. We welcome the visitors – we go personally and watch the horses walking off the trucks.- that gets photographed and we talk to the trainers – which information is disseminated to the public via our various platforms.”
The age old hobby horse of a perceived lack of transparency, is a different beast in KZN.
“We need to be transparent in this sport and the sooner everyone realises that, the better – punters, especially, want to know the trainers and jockeys thoughts and opinions, win or lose,” said Harrison.
Gold Circle are working to be more transparent in post-race feedback, which is as important as pre-race.
The team capture some great photographs and interviews.
They also use their various platforms to promote owners and punters along with all the people involved that make the racing industry tick.
There are also weekly podcasts – called Horses To Follow , as well as videos and a host of different news items that can be enjoyed on the various media platforms.
Gold Circle can be followed on Facebook where the official handle is: Gold Circle, Instagram: theofficialgoldcirclehorseracing and Twitter: @circle_racing.