On the eve of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown Horse Racing Ireland has announced a new three-year partnership with London based marketing agency Two Circles.

The aim of the partnership is to further improve the customer experience of racegoers and grow attendances across the country.

In 2018, HRI and Two Circles embarked on a pilot project to help HRI gain a better understanding of who customers of Irish racing are and what drives their relationship with the sport.

The new partnership will build on this to understand and analyse fan experiences at HRI racecourses, rolling-out initiatives that improve the race day experience as a result.

Additionally, HRI will work with Two Circles to create insight-led marketing strategies that grow the number of people attending racing across Ireland, with a particular focus on increasing the number of advance tickets sold.

Attendance at Irish racecourses last year topped 1.3 million after a 3 per cent increase. This has been driven in part by the attraction of a younger audience seeing a day at the races as an opportunity to get dressed up and get out there. It will be interesting to follow this new partnership and see what insight emerges on the changing demographics of the sport.

Two Circles has a lot of experience in this and other sports. It has worked with Great British Racing, the Hong Kong and British Jockey Clubs and Ascot Racecourse among others.

“We’re hugely passionate about making Irish racing the best day out in sport, and to do that listening to our fanbase and understanding what they want from a day at the races is critical,” said Paul Dermody, Chief Executive of HRI Racecourses Division.

“Two Circles have already become a valuable extension to our team and we believe their expertise will give us the customer insight and strategic guidance to achieve our objectives for the benefit of Irish racegoers.”

“Horse racing in Ireland is of the highest quality and the sport holds a unique cultural relevance in the country,” added George Foster, Two Circles Client Services Director.

“We are therefore excited to be putting customer insight and experience at the heart of HRI’s strategy to grow levels of interest and attendance in the sport over the coming years.”

Based in London with international offices in Europe (Bern) and North America (New York, Los Angeles), Two Circles uses proprietary technology and established analytical techniques to help over 100 of the world’s leading sports organisations drive commercial growth using data-driven customer insight.

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Image Credit: Horse Racing Ireland