The race that stops a nation
‘The race that stops a nation’: that’s how the Melbourne Cup, the biggest horse race in Australia, is known. Everyone in Australia makes the time to watch the race on TV or listen on the radio. In the state of Victoria race day is state wide Holiday. This famous horse race is the highlight of the Sprint Carnival racing season from September to November. Prior to the Carnival in 2014, the award-winning online platform of Racing.com went live.
Increasing online presence
In 2013 Racing Victoria, the governing authority of horse racing in Victory, decided that increasing the sport’s online presence was long overdue. The Racing Victoria website, as well as the different club websites, looked outdated and crucially the number of visits and revenue from betting on horse races were plummeting.
A new combined brand
Launching Racing.com, an online platform where racers and visitors can access the latest race information, videos and live broadcasts from everywhere at every time, was the answer. Sitecore Australia proposed our team in Australia as a potential implementation partner to Racing Victoria. In January 2014 the team in Melbourne started building the online application under supervision of Codeware, who took care of the project management.
In only eight months the team had to build and release the complicated platform, just in time for the Spring Carnival in September. The real-time storage, handling and publishing of large quantities of race data from the race clubs around Victoria proved to be the most complicated part of the project. Another part was the conversion of the websites for the larger race clubs to the new Sitecore platform and the restyling to match the Racing.com branding.
A challenging job for our Australian team mates, but it worked. They were rewarded with the Sitecore Entertainment, Sports and Leisure Award in 2014.
Currently, Racing.com has a television channel, where you can watch horse races 24/7, to complement the strong online presence. The online platform has been extended with several new channels. Owners can now follow their horse’s progress on owners.racing.com/ and you can buy photos and merchandise at photos.racing.com. There is also an iPhone app where you can follow your favourite jockeys, horses and trainers.