The ABRV Tour started its tour at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Tex. in early March, followed by the Florida Derby near Miami, Fla. at the end of March. Next, they were on to Baltimore, Md. to begin early promotions for the Preakness Stakes which runs at Pimilico Race Course May 18. Most recently, the tour visited Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. The tour rolls into Louisville this week for the Kentucky Derby.
Many have said that horse racing is a dying industry. It may be aging, but it’s not dying. Many of those regularly involved in the horse racing industry—as a fan or a participant—are not in the same generation as the ABR ambassadors and that’s one thing they’re trying to change. The ABRV Tour targets those aged 18-45. In addition to educating current race fans, ABR has a fresh take on creating new fans and getting them to return to the racetrack with friends.
“A lot of people we encountered had never been to the track,” said McGaughey about the tour’s stop in Miami. “We would reach out to people with a big social following, big Twitter personalities, things like that—people that had a following within their community—bring them out to the track. We had them up in the director’s suite, we did backside tours, won them some money. Basically, just showed them the best time possible, so that they would go through their means of communication, show people how great of a time they had in hopes they would get them out to the track in the future.”