n an interview with Ministry of Sport ahead of the Melbourne Cup, MyRacehorse general manager of marketing, Ben Willis, spoke about the unique ownership model offering horse racing ownership to all Australians.
The ownership model combines an ecommerce platform with fixed-fee micro-share ownership to help racing fans own elite thoroughbreds without large upfront and ongoing costs.
Ahead of the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, MyRacehorse revealed more than 1,000 customers will see the model come to life as their horse, Deep Point competes in Race One on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington.
Discussing how the platform aims to challenge traditional racehorse ownership and make it affordable for all racing fans, Willis said MyRacehorse provides a digitally accessible option for thoroughbred ownership.
“Our platform is all done 100% digitally, and it’s a very similar model to online shopping; we specifically wanted to simplify the complex process of buying into horses,” Willis told Ministry of Sport.
“You sort of need to know someone or be the person who’s close to the stable to know if it is going to be a good thing, then you reach out to the stable, you get bundles of paperwork you sign and enter all your details in and pay with a credit card over the phone or whatever it might be.
“Basically, it is very complicated, and it hasn’t really progressed the same way buying clothes or groceries online has.
“Our target is those racing and sport fans who just want to be involved in something for a bit of interest and entertainment, and they are less likely to be deeply engrained in the racing industry.
“We want to bring more people in to experience ownership and they will be less likely to have all those barriers of entry.
“The horses are listed on our website with a price associated per micro share, which is a value of 0.01%.
“Deep Point was $100 per micro share, so owners could have jumped on our website, visited Deep Point’s page, added as many shares to their cart as they wanted to, whether they wanted to spend $100 or $3,000, it doesn’t matter, and then they go through the shopping process, enter their details and after a few clicks they are an owner of Deep Point.
“Deep Point we first put live to market when we launched in June this year, and Deep Point took about four weeks to sell out entirely.
“He’ll run tomorrow at Flemington and whatever prize money he wins on the day that’s how much owners will receive based on the amount they own.
“It’s a bit like a betting account where it gets deposited straight into your MyRacehourse wallet and they can withdraw that straight into their bank account at any time or invest that further into more horses,” he said.
When asked about the opportunity for brands to get involved with MyRacehorse, Willis said there’s potential to boost brand marketing efforts with involvement with MyRacehorse.
“Our product and platform is a great opportunity for other brands who are looking to diversify their offering,” Willis said.
“Historically, brands haven’t really been able to offer their high-end clients, their broader customers, or their audience a share in a racehorse because racehorse ownership in Australia has ongoing monthly fees you need to pay time and time again.
“Essentially, with our model, that’s all captured upfront and managed separately…
“What that means from a customer perspective is you pay once and that’s it.
“The ongoing costs in horse race ownership are where it can go from starting something fun with your mates to become quite a pain, especially if your horse isn’t that good and every month you have to keep putting money in.
“With our platform… for a brand looking to run a promotion they can buy x% of a horse we own and then go to market for their customers and say, ‘win a share of a racehorse’, however they want to do it.
“Brands can partner with us and leverage our platform so they can give their customers and clients the horse racing ownership experience without any ongoing fees…
“We’ve had some positive conversations with a number of different brands.
“Sportsbet are obviously Australia’s biggest online betting company and they’ve partnered with us and given shares away in a couple of horses to their customers.
“The experience we have had with them has been really positive and the two markets align quite well with betting and horse racing ownership.
“We’ve had brands from the hospitality and events industry reach out to us to find out more about it, which obviously will fit well.
“Hopefully by the time we can get some more runs on the track and more people find out more about us, it might open up more of those opportunities directly with brands,” he told Ministry of Sport.