Hong Kong Jockey Club seeks digital rebrand
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has invited digital agencies to make presentations for a campaign that will reposition the club as a cultural attraction for younger audiences, providing the basis for a long-term, more extensive rebranding solution.
According to sources from several digital agencies, the Jockey Club is looking to attract a younger clientele to both its Wednesday and Saturday races in Happy Valley and Shatin. Agencies invited to the tender have been asked to provide a solution to digitally rebrand the HKJC as a destination for both young professionals and families.
At least five holding-group agencies have reportedly been invited make presentations, which may have started as early as this week.
OgilvyOne currently manages the HKJC’s digital account.
A source close to the rebranding project said the client recognises that its Happy Valley and Shatin assets are “two different products” and aims to make them more analogous.
In Shatin, sources say the HKJC can accommodate a larger crowd and would ideally be the club’s main racing venue. However, the younger, working audience it seeks prefers the Happy Valley course, which, in turn, has difficultly attracting professionals with families. Currently, Happy Valley attracts large crowds of “rich, older clientele and younger ex-pats”, while Shatin is mainly visited by “older, local men and gamblers” from mainland China, a source said.
“It [HKJC] would love to get its younger crowds to head to Shatin on the weekends, but that’s difficult right now,” a source said. “It would also like to get more families visiting Happy Valley, but there’s nowhere for the kids to go while their parents are at the track, unless they are members in the clubhouse.”
Sources added that the HKJC was prompted to call the review because it has experienced difficulty meeting its fiscal projections for the year, which creates problems for the club’s overall profitability and its ability to pay Government taxes.
The HKJC is mandated to return a minimum of US$1 billion per year to the Government in the form of tax revenues. Regulations additionally imply an effective betting tax rate of more than 70 per cent.
In September, HKJC announced a 30 per cent profit fall to US$90 million from $130 million year-on-year for the racing season. The loss was attributed to the economic downturn as well as Macau’s growing appeal to young professionals.
Sources explained that the HKJC traditionally sought to rectify these hurdles by adding more races to its seasonal lineup, but that solution has proved to be a “leaky bucket” because of the additional costs accrued for each race. “So, a better option is to attract more people with money”, a source said.
In August, the HKJC was given permission by the Government to add five race days and 15 telecasts of overseas races for people to bet on – its first extension in 10 years.
This article was sourced at www.media.asia