08/22/2012 11:04AM

Jockey Club to launch games integrating Facebook, Twitter

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The Jockey Club on Wednesday officially announced the launch of its two social-networking games, projects that were recommendations of a report the organization commissioned last year examining ways for racing to market to new racing fans.

The games, Thoroughbred World and Major League Horse Racing, are strongly tied to players’ use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Thoroughbred World is an asset management-type game that focuses on the breeding, owning, and training of horses, while Major League Horse Racing is based on fantasy-league games.

The Jockey Club plans to use the games to promote racing and its television initiatives, and because points in the games can be generated by players’ activity on social networks – such as “liking” participants in the sport on Facebook and using certain hashtags on Twitter – many players will become indirect marketing agents for the sport.

Thoroughbred World also has revenue-generating components that will be used to offset the cost of developing and maintaining both games.

In a release, the Jockey Club said that both games were launched unofficially last week. Since that launch, Major League Horse Racing has attracted 1,200 players, while Thoroughbred World has attracted 2,000 players, the Jockey Club said.

The report commissioned by the Jockey Club recommended that racing develop the games to establish a presence in the social-networking world. The report was produced by McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm.