Lisa Kemp at 2010 WEG - how many people do you think posed for this same shot?
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) had an impact in many ways, from changing the face of the Kentucky Horse Park and leaving behind a legacy of structures that will attract even more world-class equestrian events in the future, to creating lasting memories for those that were fortunate enough to experience the event last autumn.
WEG also had a significant economic impact within the state of Kentucky, according to numbers released recently at a Kentucky Horse Park news conference. While early projections placed dollar figures at $150 to $167 million, the final study showed a greater than $201 million impact to the state.
The June 27th news conference, held in the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse lobby due to a summer downpour that morning, featured remarks from Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear; First Lady Jane Beshear; Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons; Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow; and Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson.
A recording of John Nicholson’s remarks about WEG’s impact will be available soon; watch for it here. In the meantime, those wishing to learn more can view an online version of the report, available at the Kentucky Department of Travel website.
Technology continues to bring those of us in the horse industry closer to each other, AND helps us communicate more effectively with our audiences. A recent example should be something to inspire us all.
Image courtesy Paul Smoke
The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries opened this month at the Kentucky Horse Park (KHP). A $10 million permanent exhibit and a significant addition to KHP’s International Museum of the Horse, the Al-Marah Galleries’ grand opening celebration was kicked off on June 12, 2010, using a live video simulcast. And yes, I watched it – via my laptop, while sitting comfortably on my deck on the northside of Chicago, despite the sweltering heat in KHP’s celebration tent in Lexington, Kentucky!
While a video will never take the place of actually being there, it can help those farther afield still feel a part of things. And I’ve long thought that welcoming new people into the horse world is something we all need to do.
More and more, simulcasts are being used for horse shows, competitions, and conferences. The footage can be archived for historical reference, or packaged and sold as content, making it a potential revenue generator.
As video technology both improves and comes down in cost, I imagine we’ll be seeing even more…and I think it’s a great thing for the horse industry.
A few Al-Marah Galleries extras:
- I found this VERY interesting: While making her opening remarks, Project Manager Evie Tubbs Sweeney made a key point, that this interactive, captivating museum about the Arabian horse will likely be seen by the million or so visitors each year to the Kentucky Horse Park, and that within 10 years, that’s a potential 10 million person audience that could be moved to possess an Arabian of their very own. At the very least, the exhibit will educate and inspire future generations of horse lovers and owners, something our industry truly needs.
- I had the opportunity to visit Lexington for the American Horse Publications annual conference, and visited the Al-Marah Galleries on Day 10 after the grand opening celebration; you can read about my experience here. Since I was marketing/PR director for Al-Marah a while back, it was nice to see some of the familiar programs and people represented, but there are also some fantastic artifacts and lots of great images and information I’d never seen before. I wish I’d had more time to explore it, and I can’t wait to go back.
Lexington, Kentucky, is often referred to as the Horse Capital of the World. When I arrived here this week for the American Horse Publications conference, I was greeted by rolling green pastures filled with mares and foals, and as I pulled into downtown, I saw a ‘WEG countdown clock’ showing there were 100 days until the start of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 (WEG2010). If your schedule is flying by these days like mine is, that will be here in about two blinks of an eye.
I’m gathering lots of pretty amazing WEG2010 info and will share it here, so tune in over the next few weeks. For example:
- The expected worldwide viewership is expected to be FIVE TIMES that of the Super Bowl.
- Over 1,500 journalists and photographers will be attending the Games.
- WEG2010 has an official soft drink, pizza, beer, coffee, and I don’t know what else!
This is going to provide lots of great information and case studies on equine industry marketing, communication, and PR. If you don’t want to miss any of it, you can sign up for email alerts when I do a new post, or the RSS feed.
Also – if you have friends and colleagues who are also interested in equine industry marketing and media, or following WEG2010, please give them a heads up and a link to my blog. Thanks, I appreciate your help!