The Harness Racing Fan Zone is an innovative new, online content hub designed for current and potential new fans and owners to "see, share, connect and play" through the power of social media. The mission of the Fan Zone is not to replace current industry websites or marketing initiatives but to serve as a key central platform that will help unify, amplify and positively brand the sport.
"The Fan Zone is designed to meet the increasing demands and expectations of a new generation of digitally and socially-savvy consumers who have grown accustomed to key features that let them become not just spectators to a particular sport, but active digital participants," said Mike Tanner, USTA executive vice president and CEO. "The Fan Zone now provides harness racing with a new 'major league' consumer experience that fully leverages social media for fans, potential fans, owners and sponsors. We expect this to be a key resource for racetracks, large and small, and other related groups to better amplify and support their marketing efforts."
Select key features include:
- Allows fans to deeply engage with the sport via social media functionality, videos, photos, plugins and more.
- Interconnects with other key social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Vimeo, YouTube, Vine, Instagram and more to help create a more comprehensive Fan Zone presence for the sport.
- Provides pages for individual tracks and industry groups to be profiled.
- Aggregates and promotes all industry/track promotions in one place so they are easy to find and participate in. The Fan Zone's first promotion is its recently launched 100 Top Moments in Harness Racing. Click here.
- Shows real time conversations about the sport so that fans can listen, share or join in.
- Celebrates the owners, fans, and horseman involved in the sport and helps show fans the personalities and stories behind the names.
- Provides a place for socially-active fans to sign up and become part of the sport's Ambassador Program. Via the Ambassador Program, fans can win rewards, visibility, and points for helping to spread the word about the sport.
- Provides key marketing and sponsorship support assets for sponsors
- Allows fans to upload their photos/videos and stories to be featured in the Fan Zone
About the USTA
The United States Trotting Association, located in Columbus, Ohio, is a not-for-profit association of Standardbred owners, breeders, drivers, trainers, and officials organized to provide administrative, rulemaking, licensing and breed registry services to its members. For more information on the USTA, please visit www.ustrotting.com.
About the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative
Launched in September, 2013, the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative is a partnership between the United States Trotting Association, the social media consultancy, Converseon, and key industry groups to help drive marketing innovation and engagement with current and new fans for the sport. The initiative's mission is to help support key racetracks, industry groups and help provide foundational support and a common, "best practice" framework by leveraging social technologies and platforms and strategies to help positively brand the sport of harness racing and generate greater awareness, visibility and engagement with a new generation of fans.
by Dan Leary, for USTA Communications Department