By James Toney, Manging
Racing is a sport blessed with personalities, from the camaraderie
of the weighing room to the humour and wit of stable staff.
Racing is a sport blessed with personalities, from the camaraderie of the weighing room to the humour and wit of stable staff. But it is a sport too often covered through the lens of betting and the prism of fractions.
Sportsbeat's content partnership with Horse Racing Ireland aims to tell the story from another angle, bring alive the characters of Irish racing - at their successes at home and around the world - through text and short-form video and animated content.
Horse Racing Ireland already boasts a strong following, with over 125,000 followers and fans across all social networks. And there is a huge potential to grow this audience, focusing on new or casual fans of the sport with a different type of storytelling.
Sportsbeat works with a wide client base of governing bodies and sports events, with accounts including Six Nations Rugby, The Open, Guinness PRO14, the British Olympic Association, International Cricket Council and London Marathon.
You always look for moments or personalities that transcend sport and Tiger Roll's bid for a third Grand National or Faugheen's performance at the Dublin Racing Festival, provided just this.
We have more tools to tell our stories with than ever before - content isn't about words and pictures, both moving and still. We need to tell stories in gifs and emojis and interactive augmented reality experiences. We need to mix long-form content, enriched
with multimedia, to short-form video. Race trends can help us predict results and there is even more data that signpost success for digital strategy.
Channels need to move with video making up 80 per cent of consumer online traffic. We know 63 per cent of consumers watch video on social at least once a day - that rises to 75 per cent for millennials.
Live video is rapidly becoming an essential asset, allowing you to engage with consumers in a two-way interaction, with a greater sense of trust, transparency and immediacy. This year is also when it is expected people will spend on average more time
looking at their mobile device than watching TV - 96 per cent of all online video views now take place on mobile.
It's fantastic to be working with a client who have such a bold ambition for telling the story behind the story, embracing innovation and are willing to take risks.
However, all content must ladder up to a purpose, with the mission to tell the story of every racing moment.