Most businesses, enterprises, social movements, and wedding announcements are present in social media. It is simply hard to avoid this phenomenon. It is also natural that horse racing has a horse in the race. Simply by searching terms like “Horse Racing”, “Thoroughbred Horses”, or “Cheltenham Tips 2019” on popular platforms, we can get some idea of the integration of this sport into the social media world. Let us examine more closely the link between horse racing and social media.
Evolution of Addressing the Public
A long time ago, you learned about horse races and results from newspapers. Then came the radio, followed by television. Finally, we have the internet. Why is this important? Well, the more sporting events and the more international events there are, the more it becomes difficult to cover them all. American TV focuses mostly on football, basketball, and baseball, leaving out many sports not covered. The mainstream media is doing little to inform the public of the noble sport of horse racing.
It is to be expected, as the three aforementioned sports are the most popular and the most profitable on the American market. Why should they, then, bother with horses? This is where the internet and social media come in. This is the alternative to reaching out to fans and viewers worldwide.
The Power of Social Media
The simple fact of the matter is that any business or industry that wants to stay relevant in the modern age has to have some level of social media presence. That’s just common sense. Sports used to be about family gatherings and clubs eagerly supporting their local champions or the nation in international competitions. With globalization, the entertainment industry boomed and there arose the need for alternative ways of keeping the potential audiences engaged in sporting events.
However, there is a thick silver lining in the mix, as social media posts are instant. You can find out within seconds whether your favorite jockey is retiring, what the situation is regarding the thoroughbred trade, and loads of other relevant information if you are interested in the world of horse racing.
Compared to other Sports
Seeing as how official and mainstream media doesn’t quite cut it in terms of reporting on horse racing events, the industry has taken on a more personal approach. Let us compare social media posts between other athletes and jockeys. Soccer players will post pictures of their brands, training sessions, and inform the public about the official announcements already present on other channels. This is a professional approach.
It is also a double-edged sword, as athletes are no longer allowed to express freely their political and social opinions under the public eye. They represent the team, the company, and the sponsors. For example, LeBron got into some hot water over the Hong Kong posts. The same can be said even of e-athletes getting their prizes taken away from companies if their stray from the path (looking at you, Blizzard).
Horse owners and jockeys have a more personal touch in the mix, often copying the dreaded Instagram thread of posting food, albeit for horses, as well as foal pictures and other heartwarming images that turn horse racing into an industry with a human face. Horse racing has become an acquired taste, something that is not to be enjoyed by everyone but by those with a finer palate concerning sports.