Opening in 1935, Santa Anita Park is the oldest track in California. It is home for many prestigious events including the Santa Anita Handicap, which Seabiscuit won in 1940 in front of a crowd of over 78,000 fans.
Concurrently with races, Santa Anita Park regularly hosts unique events, live music and entertainment on the infield of the track. Over the course of several seasons, we have worked with Santa Anita’s in-house team to create high impact digital campaigns that attract new audiences to these featured events, engage locals, promote the Santa Anita brand and create buzz.
One area which the track was interested in expanding was it's loyal weekday track-goer audience base. Without the benefit of an infield event and with a short lead-time, we were called upon to put a plan into action to boost weekday numbers.
After receiving the green light from Santa Anita, we created a web application that enabled users to obtain and print out free tickets. After printing a ticket, the user had the ability to share the ticket portal with friends via social media, email or SMS text message. Each printed ticket contained a unique identifier. This enabled us to denote whether an attendee arrived as a result of the digital marketing campaign. The identifiers also enabled us to understand which marketing venues provided the best ROI for the campaign.
We then identified target audience groups and created a digital marketing effort to reach potential track-goers with targeted advertising.
Digital creative was designed with the goal of capturing the attention of individuals looking at content on local entertainment blogs and websites running up to the day of the event. Our campaign focused on regions within the LA DMA within a reasonable commute to Santa Anita Park. The inclusion of entertainment, event and other niche sites was important for reaching and attracting people who would not ordinarily visit the track during the day on a Friday. Search engine marketing was also used to leverage “pull” marketing opportunities.
The campaign reached up over 200K unique users over the course of four days leading up to the race day on a Friday afternoon, resulting a notable increase in new faces to the track. We we able to successfully increase awareness of non-weekend races at the track, boosting weekday attendance numbers and handle alike.