Ken Adelson, Executive Producer, America's Best Racing
2012 was the beginning of something special for the horse racing industry as America’s Best Racing was born, engaging a new generation of fans with a focus on lifestyle, entertainment, competition and gambling. Through the new ABR website, network television broadcasts, social media, extensive video production and on-site engagement, ABR was created to drive fan development and bring a fresh perspective to the sport.
I was privileged to be part of the launch team and help build the overall strategy. Of course, one of the most powerful tools in the social media age is video and the ability to reach people in ways unheard of just a few short years ago.
With the Triple Crown season coming to a close and the weather heating up, horse racing galloped into it’s second or “championship” season featuring the best horses battling for supremacy in their respective divisions, racing at the sports iconic summer playgrounds. We were back on the road taking fans behind the scenes from coast to coast, showcasing the sport’s lifestyle and competition through our "Insider" video series, promoting the sport with a full-court press on social media and working with NBC Sports and the NYRA to create a fan-friendly series of broadcasts utilizing "Insider" video content to highlight the unique Saratoga Race Course experience.
We took our “Racing 101” concept a step further and reached out directly to the fans. Working with the racetracks ABR staged a “live” on-track interactive “fan hub” that would not only educate people on the in's and out's of betting on Thoroughbreds, but also give them a chance to meet the sport’s leading jockeys and trainers up close. The tour started at the Jersey shore at Monmouth Park in late July and connected with thousands of fans throughout the summer and fall as it weaved through the sport’s great racing meets. Here's a look at what “Racing 101” was all about.
The championship season came to a close at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Fort Larned and Royal Delta became the king and queen of the ball during the two-day celebration at Santa Anita Park.
On to 2013! We'll keep the momentum going and add a few new wrinkles to help fans connect with the great sport of Thoroughbred Horse Racing.
Ken Adelson is executive producer for America’s Best Racing. A veteran sports producer, media executive, sportscaster and video journalist, Ken is a lifelong fan of the sport. He has been to Saratoga for 34 straight summers, experienced Keeneland Race Course, Santa Anita Park and Del Mar for the first time this year and was at Belmont Park when Affirmed completed a sweep of the Triple Crown in the 1978 Belmont Stakes. He hopes to be there again when fate shines on the next Triple Crown winner.