A quick thought on marketing the 2014 Derby

It’s been a while since I’ve had a blog but the new season is slowly inching it’s way around again. I hadn’t meant to finish last season’s commentary so abruptly but I was waiting on confirmation of penalties arising from the National Meeting before commenting. As yet there hasn’t been any confirmation so that blog will have to wait.

What I did just want to comment on was the fast approaching Boylesports Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park. I have noted with a great deal of interest the recent announcement’s by the IGB that there will be a major re-branding of the Irish Greyhound industry and believe that the Board could do much worse that pump some resources into marketing their showpiece.

As a ‘doggie’ person it frustrates me when the IGB seem to spend the majority (if not all) of their marketing budget on promoting greyhound racing as a ‘night out’ without promoting the product those ‘revellers’ are meant to be at the dogs to see.

Speaking to a work colleague who keeps an eye on horse racing and would be a casual greyhound watcher on Sky or RTE recently, it became clear that he couldn’t name a greyhound. That’s a sad indictment of how the sport is currently marketed.

Perhaps that could change for the Derby. I don’t think anybody can deny that the Derby is shaping up to be potentially one of the best in years. There are some exceptional dogs who, all being well, could meet at Shelbourne in August. It mightn’t sell 1000s of seats in stadium restaurants across Ireland but to see Greenwell Hulk, Boylesports Hero or Droopys Nidge appear in newspapers, on billboards or on a TV advertisement might give the public a name to look forward to seeing when they do decide to go for a night at the dogs!