Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Opening Day and Record-Breaking Promotional Initiatives

Challenge:

The Del Mar Racetrack is where the "turf meets the surf" and where fans gravitate each summer to wager on their favorite horses, enjoy the "people watching" and listen to their favorite bands during the Summer Concert Series.

Following years of record-breaking attendance, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker was tapped by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in the late 1990s to uncover new reasons for people to attend the Del Mar Racetrack during its season, continue to secure media coverage and cultivate the tradition of annual attendance records.

One new, and now famous, strategy conceptualized by NST was "The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest." Each year on opening day, contestants flaunt their creativity and design expertise by wearing outrageous, glamorous and racing-themed hats with the chance of winning numerous prizes.

NST also heavily promoted all aspects of the "racetrack experience," including pitching local media on feature stories, coordinating "meet the media" sessions prior to opening day and assisting with on-track media coordination for opening day. NST’s support helped position Del Mar as the preeminent racetrack on the West Coast.

Results:

NST’s efforts resulted in a tremendous amount of media placements, including repeated exposure on local radio stations, television and print coverage.

NST’s conceptualization of The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat contest became a signature event at opening day that now attracts hundreds of participants who spend weeks and even months creating their millinery.