Horse racing is very complex and intricate and can, from the outset, seem quite daunting to get to grips with. But with the right news coverage and content, even novice bettors can become fans of the sport. That’s according to Vincent Finegan, Editor at irishracing.com – a part of the Better Collective portfolio.
As part of this month’s Better Collective Spotlight, Finegan discusses the role of reviews, previews, weekly news and tips in building bettor engagement before shedding some light on plans for future video content.
SBC: Congratulations on your 25 year anniversary! How did you mark the occasion?
Thank you! To mark the occasion, Better Collective produced a fun video showing the progression of the site over the last quarter of a century, which was great to see, but besides that it was just work as usual.
Irishracing.com is a very large website with over 30 years worth of accessible horse racing data and is powered by 50 different data feeds each day so there wasn’t much time to rest on our laurels.
SBC: For those that don’t know, what is irishracing.com?
Irishracing.com is a 100% free resource that provides up to date information on Irish, UK and International horse racing. Everything from the latest news, race cards, results, betting odds and previews are covered with site users being able to access our comprehensive database of content going back to 1990. Users can also track their own sets of horses, trainers, jockeys, owners and sires with our Horsetracker email alert service.
SBC: How has irishracing.com strengthened the Better Collective portfolio, especially when it comes to horse racing expertise?
Better Collective has an ambition of becoming the world’s leading digital sport media group and in this respect Irishracing.com fits perfectly to the strategy since it is predominantly a media site.
We have a large, loyal and knowledgeable audience, many of whom have used the site since the beginning, and they are very engaged with our content and passionate about both the site and the sport of horse racing.
Horse racing is quite a complex and intricate sport with many nuances and idiosyncrasies that take a long time to learn. Our expertise and experience in this field can only strengthen the Better Collective Group and it’s a pleasure sharing that knowledge with our new colleagues.
SBC: How important are reviews, previews, weekly news and tips for building bettor engagement? And how can these help tap into a new demographic of bettors who may not have previously been interested in horse racing?
These are interesting questions and form the basis to a large part of our future strategy for the website. Irishracing.com has tended to be a resource for experienced horse racing bettors. Once-a-year bettors on races like the Grand National won’t have the interest or basic horse racing knowledge to get the most out of a site like irishracing.com as they are generally just looking for the list of the horses running and tips for the big race.
However, we are looking to reposition irishracing.com to not only attract these novice bettors, but to also convert them into regular fans of the sport.
We recently conducted surveys of both our own audience and a group of bettors who don’t currently use irishracing.com in order to understand the requirements of both sets of people and analysis of this data will certainly help shape our strategy going forward.
SBC: What can we expect from irishracing.com for the remainder of this year?
We have a new team within Better Collective dedicated to the development of irishracing.com and over the next few months we will be rolling out a series of upgrades and improvements to the look, feel and functionality of the site.
We will also be expanding our video content with the help of the Broadcasting Department in the Copenhagen office. We currently produce two video shows each week under the Jump To It banner and a third weekly show will be online by the end of September. The new show will be filmed on location in the top racing yards in Ireland and the UK.