DOES CTL HAVE A MARKETING DEPARTMENT?

Sad to say, CTL’s Racing Office hasn’t answered last week’s questions. I have some more questions this time for Marketing. In 2 ½ years, I can count new CTL sponsors (excluding LP Azar Ltd) on one hand with fingers to spare.

(1) Is CTL’s Marketing Department incompetent or do they lack direction?
(2) Is CTL’s Marketing Department overstaffed with people unable to sell as much as a PATTY?
(3) Does the CEO have any responsibility for the Marketing team or are they, like the Racing Office, on their own?
(4) Is the CTL Board aware of the Marketing Department’s non-productivity?

CTL has been instructed by government to make the company viable so it can be divested. The Marketing Department staff expected to lead this effort are:

A. Michka “Stand over There” Smith, a trained Stewardess who knows how to make people happy. It shows on race days when she directs (“stand over there”) the taking of photos in the winners’ enclosure. She also helps out in the Directors’ box. Why is she in Marketing? What is it about her past that suggests she can sell a pen to a writer?

B. Kathryn “Look Outta Sight” Clark. Promotions Manager. But, as beautiful as she is, none of her promotions seem to result in increased sales or sponsorship.

C. Sheena “Picture” Rampaul. Brand Manager. Sheena has branded her photo everywhere but the CTL Brand is almost invisible in the marketplace. Again, I don’t know of Sheena having a past record in sales yet she’s asked to sell horse racing.

D. David “Big Things” Hobson. Executive Marketing Manager. My assessment of David’s sales expertise is that he couldn’t sell a Red Stripe Beer in a bar but he’s asked to sell horse racing. His permanent tune is “big things are going to happen” but none happen yet. Is he and Marketing a good fit?

I can sing the Marketing Department’s two lines in my sleep:

1. “Big Things a go happen”
2. “We have two people talking to right now who are very interested in sponsoring”

Two weeks from the race you suddenly hear the two interested persons are missing in action and CTL’s deputy director, Andrew Azar, or Champion Owner, Carlton Watson, step up to the plate and fill the void. If Andrew Azar wasn’t prepared to spread L.P Azar’s money around, would racing ever be promoted? None of the four staff members named have experience selling horse racing. CTL needs a sales team.

At the last Press Conference I attended, Mr Hobson announced a confirmed sponsor for the 2014 Derby but wouldn’t call the name. Why not? Is the sponsor confirmed or not? I’m glad if there’s such a sponsor but this doesn’t change the poor marketing efforts over the past 2 years plus.

Why is the CEO seemingly ignoring these repeated marketing failures? When all is said and done the buck stops with the CEO. The CEO announced that CTL’s loss was reduced in 2012. Did CTL break even in 2013?

Donovan “Minister of Information” Wilson (Guest Columnist).

Donovan Wilson is the President of the Jockeys Agents Association; a horse racing analyst; and co-host of the radio programme “The Angel and The Tout”

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