Chris John, the British Horseracing Board’s Marketing Director since 2002, has decided to leave in the New Year. A structural review of the central marketing function will take place over the coming months. This will involve a significantly reduced budget for 2007.
BHB’s Marketing Manager Ed Coke and Ownership and Bloodstock Marketing Executive Harriet Rochester are also to move on at the end of the year. Rochester, who has recently developed welcometoracehorseownership.co.uk, an online digital brochure targeted at anyone interested in ownership in Britain, plans to set up on her own as a racing and sports marketing consultant, while Coke is to pursue other career interests.
Speaking today of his departure, Chris John said: “I have reached this decision after much careful consideration – it is based primarily on the reduced resources available in the future for central marketing.
“BHB’s marketing spend has been reduced by more than £2 million since its peak of over £3m in 2003 and 2004 – years in which the sport set records for racecourse attendances, ownership, the number of horses in training and other key indicators.
“Core areas of current activity such as the Order of Merit, britishhorseracing.com – with its unique and ground-breaking ticket booking facility – the British Bloodstock Marketing Group and the consumer PR and communications functions will continue under BHA, but the BHB Board and BHA Member organisations have agreed that other areas should be devolved principally to the appropriate industry associations. It is imperative that these activities are carried out and that commitments are honoured in this area.
“I would like to express my gratitude to Ed Coke for his professionalism, dedication to Racing and for his personal support at the BHB over the last four years. I would also like to thank Harriet for her commitment and creativity in the way she has brought new owners into the sport. They have both been part of a very close and successful team that has served the industry as a whole.
“I am very grateful to everyone I have worked with across all sectors of British Racing during the last four years for their support, enthusiasm and friendship.”
BHB Chairman Martin Broughton said: “I would like to thank Chris for his outstanding contribution to British Racing. Since he joined BHB in 2002, the sport has gone from strength to strength and Chris and his team have implemented successful and award winning initiatives which have contributed significantly to this success. They have also continued to carry out their roles effectively and with great professionalism since the difficulties caused by the ECJ Judgment in November 2004. I am very pleased that Chris has agreed to stay on until the New Year to help with transitional arrangements. We will be extremely sorry to lose him but understand the reasons for his decision and wish him every success in the future.”