- LED advertising displays on the back of fences permitted by the BHA following consultation with racecourses and participants
- Displays will be static during races but allow a more attractive, modern look and feel and greater flexibility for advertising and sponsorship on racecourses
Advertising on British racecourses will join other major sports by featuring digital LED (light-emitting diode) displays on the landing side of fences, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced today.
Following consultation with racecourses, the Racecourse Association (RCA) and participants including trainers and jockeys – as well as trials of equipment developed by sports marketing agency Priority Sports Marketing – the BHA’s General Instructions will be updated from 1 October to permit the use of LED screens attached to the back of fence frames. The use of the LED displays will be permitted in advance of 1 October on a trial basis as long as permission is sought from the BHA by the racecourse in question.
The LED displays must be static when runners are in the vicinity of the fences – i.e. going to post or competing in a race – but otherwise the displays will allow for more creative visual advertising and the opportunity to switch between advertisers and sponsors for different races on a card.
The displays are battery powered and therefore carry no electrocution risk to horse or rider should they come into contact with the screen.
Richard Linley, Senior Inspector of Courses for the BHA, said:
“LED displays are used widely in other sports and provide for a more modern appearance and greater flexibility for racecourses, which we hope will help them generate greater revenue from advertisement and sponsorship.
“The proposals have been tested extensively and received the support of racecourses and the participants who will be riding over the fences and whose horses will be competing in races. The displays are on the landing side of fences so will not affect participants and will be static during races so the viewing experience for those watching the races will not be impacted.”
Caroline Davies, Racecourse Services Director for the RCA, said:
“I am pleased to see LED screens arrive to British racing and look forward to seeing these introduced in the coming months. They will unquestionably enhance the raceday experience and also will open up valuable opportunities for our sponsors and supporters which in turn open new income streams for our members. The technology is state of the art and will add a further layer of engagement, both on-course and for the television audience.”
Notes to editors:
1. BHAGI 3.5 will be updated as follows from 1 October
19. Where advertising hoardings are attached to the back of fences they must be properly secured and must not extend beyond the height of the frame.
20. Where LED Screens are attached to the back of fence frames they
a) must be properly secured and must not extend beyond the height of the fence frame;
b) must not extend more than 2 feet from the base of the fence frame;
c) must be static when runners are on the racing surface or in the vicinity of the LED screens, i.e., going to post on an adjacent canter down where LED screens are deployed.
2. The LED display design developed by Priority Sports Marketing is not an exclusive agreement. Should other companies wish to design an LED display to be sold to racecourses then they should approach the BHA in order to put their design proposal through the required testing.
3. About the Racecourse Association
The Racecourse Association (RCA), formed in 1907, is the trade association for British
racecourses. 59 racecourses are members and have equal voting rights.
The RCA has owned RaceTech since March 1998. The RCA serves the interests of its 59 British racecourse members both inside and outside the sport, empowering them to be the best venues that they can be. The RCA is responsible for the management of the Racegoers Club, the official fan club of British Racing.
The RCA works on behalf of racecourses to represent their views within the sport through the tripartite structure of the Members’ Agreement alongside BHA and The Horsemen’s Group. Outside of horseracing, the RCA works alongside the Government, other sports and leisure venues, and national charities to meet the needs of racecourses.
Additionally, the RCA encourages and facilitates racecourse community engagement, involvement in horse welfare initiatives, responsible drinking campaigns, and various other partnerships within the sport. The Showcase & Awards, the marquee event of British Racecourses to celebrate and reward excellence and innovation, is hosted by the RCA annually in November.
For more information, please contact Paul Swain 07791 414027 or 01344 873536.