Cyberponies lure Woodbine players

In an effort to further increase loyalty and provide its core audience with unparalleled convenience, Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) has created a niche site that puts content in the hands of the customer.

In an effort to further increase loyalty and provide its core audience with unparalleled convenience, Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) has created a niche site that puts content in the hands of the customer.

Officially launched last month, myWEG.com is a customizable Web site featuring real-time entries, results and charted results from over 75 North American tracks, as well as live racing video and audio feeds, schedules and programs. Registered users are now ‘in the thousands,’ says Shelley Clifford, Web Manager at WEG.

‘It allows consumers to program their tracks and preferences in – so it automatically populates the data for them. It’s a value-add. And it keeps our customer base close to us,’ she says. ‘It’s definitely a loyalty-building and retention-building effort – in this marketplace you have to be new and innovative to keep your customers fresh.’

Designed by iLeo, a Leo Burnett Company (part of the newly formed global networks called iLeo that unifies direct, digital and database marketing resources) and developed by White Label Technologies, the ‘clean, compact’ site combines Flash and XML. It is targeted at horse people and racing enthusiasts of all breeds: both thoroughbred (jockey) and standardbred (cart and driver), she says.

Currently about half of the registered users are also members of Woodbine’s free Horseplayer Interactive program, which allows members to place their wagers over the phone. A membership rewards program is tied in as well so members can accumulate points and redeem them for cash back or prizes.

‘It’s a very integrated group [Woodbine] – to provide everything to customers through all channels,’ says Clifford.

MyWEG.com is currently being promoted through posters and on-track material, as well as on the main Woodbine site. Because of the initial groundswell of support, Clifford says, Woodbine has not begun to promote it elsewhere just yet.