Remington Park Extreme Racing
Remington Park is a horse track and casino located in Oklahoma City. It is the state’s premier destination for horse racing and offers a quarter horse season each spring and a thoroughbred season each fall. Remington Park is also home to restaurants Silks Fine Dining, Bricktown Brewery and Henry Hudson’s Bar & Grill.
One Sunday each April, Remington Park hosts its Extreme Racing event. Extreme Racing features Remington Park jockeys racing aboard exotic animals such as camels, zebras and ostriches. The event also includes miniature donkey races and a Clydesdale horse match race. Donations to local nonprofits are made on behalf of the winning extreme animals. It is typically the highest attendance day of the year for Remington Park, drawing approximately 25,000 spectators. The eighth annual Extreme Racing event took place on Sunday, April 23, 2017.
The 2017 Extreme Racing event benefited Remington Park’s 2017 charity partners: the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund; Easter Seals Oklahoma; the American Heart Association of Oklahoma; Anna’s House Foundation; Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma; CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc.; the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program; Positive Tomorrows; Freedom School Oklahoma City, Inc.; the Langston University Foundation; Autism Oklahoma; Warriors for Freedom Foundation; the YWCA; FACT UNIT of the Oklahoma City Police Department; and Dress for Success.
April is one of the busiest months for activities in Oklahoma City with the Festival of the Arts, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, NBA playoff games and more. It can be difficult to cut through the noise to gain the public’s attention. Although the Extreme Racing event’s novelty stands out among other entertainment options, it can be a challenge to keep the public’s attention as this was the event’s eighth year. Koch Communications worked with Remington Park to bring public attention to the event to increase attendance and support for Remington Park’s 2017 charity partners.
Koch Comm developed and executed the public relations strategy for the event. Planning and personal relationships with the media were essential for success. Preparation began by looking at past years and analyzing successes and challenges. Additionally, the Koch Comm team collaborated to develop innovative PR tactics not previously attempted. This resulted in the identification of a jockey who had experience with horses and exotic animals and was comfortable doing interviews.
Koch Comm sent a press release announcing the event and followed up in person with select journalists. Koch Comm arranged an interview with the jockey who had been identified in the planning stage and the story he was interviewed for ran in several papers across the state. Additionally, TV pitches were made well in advance to secure the spots, and much of the coverage in both print and TV was with reporters with established relationships with Koch Comm.
Remington Park also used traditional paid print and television advertising. A mention of the event was added to an existing Remington Park commercial and a print ad in the Oklahoma Gazette targeted those looking for entertainment options in the Oklahoma City metro.
Facebook played heavily into Remington Park’s strategy on social media. With a $400 social media budget, the track ran ads and promoted posts leading up to the event, reaching tens of thousands of potential attendees. Photos from past Extreme Racing events and graphics of “extreme” animals dressed in jockey silks highlighted the novelty and family-friendly nature of the event.
A drone video taken during Extreme Racing was shared on Facebook to lay the groundwork for future attendance. That post reached more than 77,000 Facebook users.
Koch Comm’s public relations efforts on behalf of Remington Park’s Extreme Racing event bolstered the event’s success and helped raise awareness of Remington Park’s 2017 charity partners. Results of this public relations campaign included:
- Two stories in The Oklahoman
- One story in the Journal Record
- One story that ran in eight CNHI papers throughout the state and was picked up online by 12 out-of-state papers
- Two live hits and two additional mentions on Fox 25
- Total earned media value, according to industry standards, equaled $68,542.23