We recently caught with Daktronics Sales Representative Marty Gregor to talk about what he’s been seeing recently in the horse racing industry.
What trends are you seeing in the horse racing industry?
Today, in the horse racing industry, we are definitely seeing a more family friendly oriented approach to attract crowds into the track. With tracks around the country, you will often see special event days such as exotic animal racing, family day or other types of events to get families to the track on nice days. With the younger generation always being attached to their mobile devices, new betting apps at each individual track allow for the millennials to bet directly from their phone now. This has made it a lot easier to place bets on races, which in turn is good for the track.
How have you seen customers use our displays for their track?
Most Daktronics customers in the pari-mutuel industry have a variety of uses for our displays. The primary use is, of course, for the main infield video display to show live video of the race. Other uses are for advertising to generate revenue, upcoming promotions or events, and tote information for spectators.
In your opinion, what is the best use that you’ve seen?
That’s a great question. I think it really goes back to the live video of the race on the main infield display. Depending on where the viewers are watching the race, it is typically difficult to see the horses on the back stretch of the track. With the main video displays, the audience can still be involved in the live racing action until the very end. Keeping the fans engaged and excited during and between races with entertainment on the infield display is always a great opportunity for the tracks.
And what’s one of the most unique uses you’ve seen?
The most unique/creative piece of content I have seen was at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. With their tote board on the left side of the infield, they actually created fake vines in their content to make it appear like it is an old, large brick wall (pictured below). It’s a very cool concept that makes people do a double take because when you look at it, you think there are multiple different displays set up in a row when, in fact, it’s all one display.
What areas of the racetrack have you seen LED displays used?
As I’ve mentioned before, a popular location is an infield main video board and tote boards. Outside of the main track, we’re starting to see them used more in the paddock areas. Then there are marquee displays outside the track that are used to promote events, show sponsorship messages and directional signage.
What project has stuck out in your mind when it comes to horse racing, and why?
The project that really sticks out in my mind for Daktronics has been Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) in Del Mar, California. DMTC and Daktronics have had a great relationship for many years. This racing season they upgraded many displays, including their main infield display to our 8mm product from a 10mm. It looked amazing on opening day in July and I can’t wait to see it during Breeders Cup in November!