The Program: Social Media in Horse Racing

The Program: Social Media in Horse Racing

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

With the rise in popularity of social media around the world, it’s no surprise racing has embraced the medium. Any time, day or night, anyone can sign on to Twitter or Facebook and have a conversation about any racing topic they desire, or catch up on what their favorite horse is up to, in a matter of minutes.

Those interested in social media and its impact on racing have a chance to listen to the thoughts of some of the biggest social media influencers at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 14, at Equestricon during the ‘Perspectives: Social Media in Horse Racing' Panel, presented by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Jim McKay Maryland Million Day. Seven panelists will discuss how social media has affected racing, how it connects insiders and fans on a day-to-day basis, and what social media means for the sport.

Participating in the panel is Keith McCalmont, one of the wizards behind the magic of Woodbine Entertainment Group’s social media accounts, in addition to his own internationally flavored Twitter account. He believes that the panel has something for both insiders and fans looking for ways to expand their reach on social media on a casual and business level.

“Since joining the Woodbine communications teams in 2011, the importance of social media in communicating with our customer base has grown and changed significantly. I think this panel has the potential to be a very informative one for racing insiders trying to gain insight on how to engage with fans and drive business,” he said. “For racing fans, the panel could also serve as a ‘how to’ on ways to get involved in horse racing and perhaps even land a paid position.  Social media certainly played a significant role in my being hired at Woodbine.”

“I love the instantaneous celebration and analysis of our biggest events. Who got a terrible trip? Who is the next big superstar?

McCalmont has also found a personal benefit to using mediums like Twitter to enjoy racing on a social level. He says he often logs on before major races in places like Australia and Hong Kong so he can talk to friends around the world about the horses and the races themselves while they are going on in real time.

“I love the instantaneous celebration and analysis of our biggest events.  Who got a terrible trip?  Who is the next big superstar? There are so many opinions and it makes watching a race that much more fun for me,” he said. “I can think of racing reasons to be on social for everyone from handicappers (who does @EJXD2 like? Has @mayhemily made a video? Does @TVGren have a pedigree play?) to the casual horse fan in search of pictures.”

He also sees social media as a great marketing tool for racing and believes the panel will help those wondering why social media is important understand a bit more about the medium while also discussing where it may go in the future.

“I read a stat the other day noting the average millennial is checking their phone more than 150 times per day … so, one reason to attend this panel might be to figure out what all the fuss is about with getting online. I expect there to be a good discussion on the current role of social media in the sport and I’d love to know how my fellow panelists think we will be using social media three and five years down the road,” he said.

If you’re looking to figure out how you might be able to increase your engagement within the racing community on Facebook or Twitter, this panel is the perfect fit for you. Equestricon is even giving those who attend a chance to use the skills they learned from the panel with one of the Social Media Tweet-Up events taking place the following day at 10:30 a.m. With the rise of social media in horse racing, these are events you don’t want to miss.

Secure your spot on this panel - tickets are now on sale! Click here to register!