Day At The Track

Drivers' colours ready to launch

08:00 AM 18 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Peter McMullen
Peter McMullen
Racing Queensland Photo

A new era has arrived for the Queensland harness racing industry.

In a bid to turbocharge the code’s popularity, drivers’ colours will be launched at Albion Park from Saturday night.

Under the initiative, six of the state’s highest profile drivers will turn out in new and exciting colours which is aimed at attracting new fans to the code. They are:

  • Brendan Barnes;
  • Matt Elkins;
  • Angus Garrard;
  • Narissa McMullen;
  • Pete McMullen; and
  • Kylie Rasmussen.

An integrated promotional campaign will be unveiled to support the initiative which has seen brands developed to showcase each driver, along with tailored silks (sponsored by Hylands), wheels (sponsored by Forward Motion Technologies) and helmets to make them readily identifiable for TV audiences and those on track.

Racing Queensland Executive General Manager Operations Adam Wallish said the drivers’ colours promotion would be trialed for the next six months and would be supported through a range of activities.

“Our harness racing code continues to challenge the status quo in Queensland,” Mr Wallish said.

“Following the successful introduction of Trot Rods last year – including the broadcast innovations and enhancements that has brought the viewer closer to the action than ever before – drivers’ colours will be used to hero our drivers in the Sunshine State.

“Through our brand development, we want fans to connect with them in the same way they look up to their other sporting heroes.

“While the horses will always by the stars - owners and trainers are critical to the racing ecosystem - the broadcasting of our sport and the frequency of racing by our leading drivers means that they are the most recognizable, and thus, have the ability to connect and draw in new fans.

“To bring the campaign to life, we will also work with our wagering partners to offer new and exciting products to help amplify their profiles.”

Following feedback from participants, owners or trainers’ colours will be permitted for Group races during the trial period including the TAB Queensland Constellations.

Last week, RQ unveiled the new-look Winter Carnival which includes 11 Group 1 races and more than $2 million in prize money and bonuses.

“We’re happy to support Racing Queensland and harness racing as it comes up with new ideas to create interest and promote the drivers, who are a vital part of harness racing and key to attracting people to the code,” Tabcorp Managing Director, Wagering & Media, Adam Rytenskild said.

In the United States, drivers’ colours are already utilised, with two of Queensland’s best-known exports, Todd and Andy McCarthy, instantly recognisable whilst driving at the Meadowlands.

Sky Racing’s Adam Hamilton is among the key supporters of the initiative, having witnessed its success abroad.

“Australians only need to look at American racing where heroes from Down Under Todd McCarthy, Andy McCarthy and Dexter Dunn are highly visible, promoted by driving in every race in their own colours,” Mr Hamilton said.

“This is a great initiative that I can’t wait to see.”

Click here for more on drivers' colours. 

 

RQ Media

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