Update and New Recommendations
Penelope P. Miller
Penelope P. Miller — Senior Manager, Digital Media, America’s Best Racing

Penelope P. Miller:
Thank you, Jason, for the introduction. In 2012, America's Best Racing was conceived as a new fan development platform to expose and educate the upcoming generation about the sport of horse racing, but the focus on the lifestyle and competition of top Thoroughbred events. ABR was created and funded by The Jockey Club, and I'd like to spend a few minutes, just a few, I promise, telling you about some of the new fan development strategies in the digital sphere.


I'd like to begin by talking about our website, americasbestracing.net. The ABR website approaches popularizing the sport by focusing on the many different facets of what attracts people to horse racing. In order to draw a diverse audience to the sport, our digital content strategy divides horse racing into two seasons, the Triple Crown season in the first half of the year and the road to the Breeders' Cup in the latter half.

With the cooperation of tracks and tent pole events, we're able to showcase horse racing to new, potential and casual fans in a way that demonstrates the sport's appeal across several spectrums. We cross over into pop culture milestones throughout the year in order to attract attention in the sports, movie, music, and equestrian communities.

To produce our content, ABR has a large group of diverse contributors from both inside and out of the industry to attract a wide range of fans. Our digital content is distributed through our various social media platforms in order to share the sport with as many people as possible.

To begin the social media discussion, I'd like to discuss ABR's Facebook strategy. Facebook analytics indicate that our audience is 54% male and 46% female. Additionally, 65% of our Facebook followers are under the age of 45, and we try to cater to and grow this audience with diverse website content, contests, strategic use of images, monetized posts as well as digital video embeds.

Twitter is an area where ABR sees the most traction and up‑to‑the‑minute reporting on big race days. We find success in providing commentary on the action as well as providing immediate access to photos and video of all aspects of the racetrack, including the races, the betting, fashion, celebrity, and party scenes. Additionally, Periscope, an app developed recently by Twitter that streams live video and audio, complete with viewer interaction, has allowed us to provide followers with behind-the-scenes access of areas of the racetrack that are rarely visible to fans whether they're new or established.

Instagram, a photo sharing app, is a very important area of focus for America's Best Racing, as the technology is the favorite social media of the coveted youth demographic. In fact, according to a 2015 Pew Research study, 53% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 25% of 25- to 39‑year‑old Internet users had an Instagram account in 2014.

Instagram is the ideal way to showcase the Thoroughbred lifestyle to fans through images, as horse racing is an inherently visually appealing sport. Looking into the future, ABR continues developing its social media presence to increase racing's visibility on platforms populated by the upcoming generations.

Another crucial area of America's Best Racing is our ABR Ambassador program. We currently have representatives strategically placed around the country for maximum national exposure for racing. The ABR Ambassador program is a twofold approach for increasing the popularity of horse racing throughout the United States. Our ambassadors engage in peer-to-peer marketing as well as engaged digital media influencers and invite them to the racetracks so they can share their horse racing experiences with their legion of followers.

In fact, just yesterday our New York based ambassadors hosted 45 high profile influencers right here in Saratoga. The combined digital media reach of these influencers was over 400,000 followers, many of whom were very new to horse racing. The last aspect of our digital strategy that we'll talk about today is digital video, which has been one of our largest areas of growth in the last year. In the first half of 2015, ABR produced 57 videos that have garnered over 700,000 views through June 19. This excludes replays of races and other videos not created exclusively for America's Best Racing.

Digital video has been an area of experimentation for us with a wide range of video themes and styles. One of our most prolific videos this year chronicled American Pharoah's thrilling success in the Belmont Stakes to capture the Triple Crown. Titled "A Pharoah Tale Ending," the original three minute, 55 second video has been enjoyed by over 200,000 fans over multiple platforms. Additionally, shorter versions have aired on both FOX Sports 1 as well as on NBC, which we would like to show you now.


We're looking forward to the rest of the year and seeing what the future holds for American Pharaoh as well as sharing America's Best Racing's future endeavors.

Thank you for your time this morning, and I hope you enjoy the remainder of the Round Table Conference as well as this glorious Saratoga weekend.

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