Industry data indicates that the regrowth strategy employed by horseracing's top leaders is continuing to fail in the area of worthy results. The industry remains headed for an eventual demise without a powerful transformation makeover.

Horseracing Business reported some startling analysis

"United States pari-mutuel handle in 2012 was 13.4% greater than it was in 1993, when compared in nominal   dollars. However, in real dollars (inflation-adjusted with 1993 as the base year), pari-mutuel handle declined by 27.6% in the 20-year period between 1993 and 2012."

In 1993, pari-mutuel handle was 9.6 billion annually but in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars, was only 6.95 billion 19-years later, they reported. 

"This trend is ominous when viewed in nominal dollars and starkly worse when the nominal dollars are adjusted to 1993 dollars... the main cause... is a noncompetitive takeout rate that destroys demand among large-scale bettors. The key question is whether the traditional pari-mutuel business model can yield a profit at takeout rates in line with sports betting in particular."


The Jockey Club® has yet to report the industry's pari-mutuel handle for 2013 (as of Jan 25, 2014).

Much of the industry's nail biting has been in the hopes that recommendations from the McKinsey and Company turned into viable projects would bear fruit for the industry. However, Creatorans™, another consulting group specializing in "big picture" consulting who prepared the Project Metamorphosis study predicted virtually all of McKinsey's recommendations would ultimately fail to significantly turn the industry around. Their prediction was based on two aspects. One, that the Creatorans™ study indicated a far deeper set of interrelated problems including cultural biasing aspects that McKinsey failed to recognize in its study findings. Two, that the McKinsey solution proposals did not address those foundational problems but instead focused on traditional consulting solutions that were not appropriate to the key findings.

One major aspect in the Creatorans™ study also revealed that horseracing had failed to properly manage and control its over-all image on a variety of levels and that it was having a powerful negative impact on consumers. As an example, company officials noted that a recent progress report indicated the industry was depending on third party production companies to independently create new TV content focused on the industry as opposed to assuming control of the entire process through a nationally coordinated image control system (as had been proposed in a later solution report by the group that the industry had ignored).

"Had the industry headed our warnings, they would have learned that one of the worst things they could do was encourage others to create a reality TV show about horseracing," said a company spokesperson. "They are only compounding their problems with a complete disregard of the key problems and core solutions dealing with image control and cultural biasing repairs,"  they said. 

Creatorans™ was referring to the reality TV shows reported in the Oct 25, 2013 Building Sustainable Growth put out by The Jockey Club®. They said Project Metamorphosis Report 1 specifically warned against the use of such realty TV programming toward boosting growth because it would, in nearly all cases, result in adding further tarnish to the industry's image with consumers. The Creatorans™ report cited the recent HBO series "Luck" as another prime example of "what not to do" when it came to media programming. That show had the potential of becoming an albatross and horseracing dodged a bullet when it was canceled, they reported.

What is clear so far is that horseracing has pinned all its hopes on McKinsey and Company and that company's solutions have failed to deliver significant results yet. Creatorans™ has predicted that the over-all revenues could temporarily uptick for 2013 but that by 2015 they should begin to dramatically plummet as shown by the trending models. In the Project Metamorphosis Executive Summary (that was partially released by the company), the industry is predicted to drop to $7.1 billion in annual revenues over the next decade and to be all but gone within 2-decades. Needless to say the picture is not rosy and neither are the issues and remedies so simple. 

"We know that the takeout rate is a contributing factor to the demise of the horseracing industry, but we respectfully disagree with Horseracing Business's analysis that it is the primary cause of the industry's fall," said  a spokesperson for Creatorans™. "There are a great many downfall contributors and we list the top one as a lack of industry centralization and managerial control as well as leadership failures--the collective lack of vision and willingness to get highly industrious is astounding on its own," they said. "This industry is a $30 billion annual money maker in 10-years if horseracing can re-organize and upgrade to the 21st Century," they said. "However, using traditional solutions that fail to address the major underlying issues will only exasperate the problems," they said.


 
 
Yes, we know, horseracing is already on television so why the title?

First of all, the HBO series "Luck" was a total disaster for horseracing even though its writers, crew, and production team were doing their best to celebrate the sport. The reality is that the series portrayed horseracing as "seedy", full of degenerate gamblers and operated by criminals. To some extent, the series was accurate--New York is the epicenter of the industry and that city and state are notorious for organized crime, especially when it comes to gambling--and yes, horseracing. And, of course, off track betting houses everywhere put on the full display of "seedy" types for all newcomers to enjoy or turn their noses up at, whichever the case may be. Yet in spite of these real and stereotype images of the sport, there is a whole other side waiting to get and parade itself for the benefit of the millions of good and honest people who work in the industry--that is the side that Winner's Universe™ seeks to expose to millions of consumers nationally.

The problem with trying to makeover the image of horseracing is that the issue is highly complex and requires many solutions in different areas of the industry to be erected in unison---drop or miss one and the whole effort becomes a waste of time and investments. We know this from Creatorans's™ Project Metamorphosis study and report and a variety of solution projects prepared for the industry. We know, for example, that installing one or ten new TV series focused on horseracing will not work to bring the sport back because underlying mechanics in the consumer supports will not allow it. Networks can work all year long and never solve the problem simply because they do not know anything about the underlying issues and how to solve them---entertainment or a mere TV series is never going to do it. Yet, likely, that will not stop horseracing or the networks from wasting their money.

Imajilan™ worked closely with Creatorans™ to come up with a comprehensive plan that would not only help the ailing American horseracing industry survive, but actually turn it into one of the fastest growing industries in the US. A minor part of the over-all solution set is the creation of the Winner's Universe TV series. The project is not seen as the fix, but part of a wider set of solutions needed for success.

Winner's Universe™ is expected to deliver a rated broadcast TV series as part of a far larger solution set project. However, the success of the show will be attributed to the success of the other components in the mix. Some of those components include things that have nothing to do with TV entertainment, such as race schedules, special events, new betting forms, track revitalization and a list that is very long, yet doable. And yet other success contributors will come from areas of innovation, new production methods, new writing techniques such as "story engineering" and "transmedia scions" that push and pull consumers through one of the most interactive experiences ever devised. And we're just scratching the surface...

Winner's Universe™ is multistage project requiring one of the largest undertakings in industry history but when complete, the transformation will have ensured that horseracing has returned to America as one of the top sports and entertainment outlets truly worthy of the title, the Sport of Kings!