01/10/2018 6:54PM

Macedonio: Rebranding our name recognition


Harness Racing needs to be rebranded. It could be a very simple process, supported by an attitude of change with regard to the future. I’m not sure how simple this execution could be, but as usual when it comes to the sport, things might not change until it’s too late.

In a world of numbers and Google searches, we have to cater our sport to this new world! When I refer to the branding of Harness Racing, I literally mean the branding. The keywords, logos and most recognizable elements of Harness Racing need to be unique and indistinguishable from everything else.

Let’s look at the actual name of the sport – Harness Racing. To the average person, both of those words separated, and even together, does not point them in the direction or even define what our sport is. Therefore, I think we need to officially call our sport something else, using a combination of keywords that only our sport uses. Even “horse” or “horse racing” don’t properly direct people to us. Let’s face it, we are low on both of those lists.

Our breed name needs to change as well, although “French Trotter” is perfect. I’m referring to “Standardbred.” Again, “Standardbred,” separately and combined, offers nothing into our world. There’s nothing in those words to help zero in on us like “Thoroughbred” or “Arabian” does. 

Let’s look at the USTA, (United States Trotting Association). They aren’t even the number one “USTA”, and don’t have USTA trademarks or websites, that is left to the United States Tennis Association. They essentially have three names that they go by unofficially: United States Trotting Association; US Trotting; and USTA. It’s useless, confusing and a waste of time/data.  It’s not Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore; it’s KFC, plain and simple.

Look at the racetracks . . . we have racetrack, racecourse, downs, raceway and park. Not one of those clues us in to the fact that HORSES are competing there. Maybe “Downs”, but that would lean more towards thoroughbred racing since Churchill Downs is the most famous track in the world and people would assume that Scioto Downs or Tioga Downs would just be a smaller version of the runners if they drove by on the highway. If I say “Speedway” you know instantly that it involves racecars.

Move on to “drivers”, it’s another generic boring word, pick something more creative.

Recapping, the only two words that we have that are truly 100% unique and are recognizable are “Trot” and “Pace”. They should be used in EVERYTHING. Here’s how I think it should look, and we can alter and brainstorm because I’m flexible.

► Breed - American Trotter & American Pacer

► Authority - American Association for Trotters and Pacers

► Every place of competition will be a Trotting Park, Trotting Raceway or Trotting Stadium

Corporations change their names and keywords all the time. It’s really not that big of a deal if you want it to happen. It can be the TrotCast Trotting Park at Mohegan Sun Pocono. We need to step out and BRAND ourselves.