I read a marketing blog post recently about making lemonade. The author looked at the difference between two lemonade stands. One was the traditional one; one that you and I might have run when we were kids - some paper cups, some lemonade and a price tag (in this case $1).
The second one was different:
"The lemonade is free, but there's a big tip jar. When you pull up, the owner of the stand beams as only a proud eleven year old girl can beam. She takes her time and reaches into a pail filled with ice and lemons. She pulls out a lemon. Slices it. Then she squeezes it with a clever little hand juicer.
The whole time that's she's squeezing, she's also talking to you, sharing her insights (and yes, her joy) about the power of lemonade to change your day."
Lemonade stand #2 makes five times the money lemonade stand number one does.
Engaging your customers and going the extra mile like the little girl with the second lemonade stand is something that has alluded racing for a long time; in fact it has alluded a great many companies. Racing is a unique experience, and its customers are a unique breed. Organizations like HANA see this first hand, because our members, whether they agree with everything we stand for or not, are very passionate.
This week we have asked folks to let their voice be heard, and send the California Horse Racing Board an email about a discussion item on Friday's meeting. The item, a raise in takeout, we believe is not in the best long-term interest of California horse racing.
We hope the board chooses to be proactive and listen and engage their customers - let's be lemonade stand #2 tomorrow at the meeting.
We look forward to speaking with them on Friday, and beginning a productive dialogue to hopefully return California racing to a better tomorrow.
If you have not sent your email out to the Board, you can by clicking here. To all players who have sent one - thank you. To the California horseplayers who have been circulating the blog post, and the email address and their opinions, to friends and the media.... good for you and we are glad there are so many of you passionate about the game! To people like Ray Paulick and John Pricci who have linked or spoken about the issue, a big thumbs up and our thanks.
If you have not joined HANA yet and want to, please sign up here. It's free!
California takeout just went up 2% as my handle on California went down 100%.
I watched SA today and it was typical short fields, but I played, because I know they are having a hard time there.
Now after reading the news I no longer feel bad for them, I feel bad for me. No more California, shortfield racing for me. If they raise takeout they are telling me they do not care about me, so I will not care about them.
Peter from California
They sneak it right through with quarterhorses thinking that we do not realize it is thoroughbreds next.
Not only do they think we cant see thru this and are stupid, they think that when you raise takeout you get more money.
they give us some yellowish liquid alright, and they think we don't know any better, but it ain't lemonade these guys are peddling. There shouldn't be any doubt about that.
They are going to revisit this at the start of Del Mar. I'd like to see all sources handle at ALL California tracks down HARD from now till then. Send the CHRB, and all the tracks out there a message.
Maybe they'll understand the funk they're serving if they get a taste for themselves. Drink up!
Anyone who plays California racing after this should tear up their HANA card.
Thanks to Jeff Platt for taking the time and making the effort to stand up for all HANA members and most other horseplayers under circumstances that cried out for representation of racing's customers.
The failure of the CHRB to listen to reason is not because reason was not presented clearly. Rather, that board's decision demonstrated the cluelessness and carelessness with which racing conducts its business.
What should also be clear is that horsplayers need to stand up in larger numbers behind Mr. Platt, and to start standing up for themselves by closing their wallets until 1) racing leadership acknowledges that decreasing quality of racing product at increased prices has had more to do with driving handle down than has the ecomomy, and 2) it acts accordingly.
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