The Continuing Appeal of Dressing Up

The question of how to attract young people to live events and so future proof whatever activity you are looking to promote is an eternal one.

In the United States, 70 per cent of marketing spend is directed at Millenials and Gen-Z’ers, despite the fact that it is Gen X-er’s and Boomers that control most of the wealth.

The simple fact is that most people who work in advertising and marketing exist in the former categories and there is a natural bias towards speaking to their own.

Horse racing faces that challenge, as it always has, as a sport where few have had the opportunity to play and which is based more than most on the experience of ‘a day out’.

There was always a truism that the best way to attract young men to an event was to first attract young women. Social experience for the young still tends to revolve around attraction even if the lines are no longer so clearly drawn as was once the case.

Fashion and the idea of dressing up has always been part of that and the concept of ‘Ladies Day’ has endured despite bumbling from those who feel it is anachronistic.

Last summer, the leading online media company part of Maximum Media came on board with Galway Races in a three-year deal to bring live streams of the fashion stakes as opposed to the graded stakes racing to their audience.

It was popular on and off the racetrack and was reflected later in the summer by their being almost 400 who registered to be judged at the RDS Dublin Horse Show.

Naas Racecourse, winner of the Racecourse of the Year at the 2019 Horse Racing Ireland Awards has enlisted model Rosanna Davison as judge of their Best dressed Competition around their biggest day of the winter on Sunday, January 5th.

As a model, best-selling author, nutritionist and new mother Davison has a strong reach to the kind of audience that the track would like to attract as a final fling of the holiday season.

Contestants will be competing for a prize fund worth €4,250. The best-dressed lady on the day will win a luxurious Suite stay at Lawlor’s of Naas Town Centre Hotel, €1,500 worth of hairdressing and accessories from Alan Keville for Hair and a €1,500 voucher from Residence Day Spa in Naas.

There will also be hair and spa vouchers from the two fashion partners for four runners up on the day as well as a voucher for lunch for two in Lawlor’s Bistro.

Many such competitions are also giving at least a nod towards the Men’s fashion stakes as well, prompting a peacock show from both genders that may still cause some to grumble but which certainly works for those who are getting involved, for those who are sponsoring and ideally for the racecourse in giving their current and future customers a chance to shine.

And as to the attraction only being for those below the age of 40, well a trawl of winners of best-dressed competitions over recent years suggest that age is no barrier when it comes to style and recognition.

Read More: Maximum Exposure for Galway

Image credit: Morgan Treacy,

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