OLG Supports Horse Racing to get Back on Track as the Province Reopens
July 13, 2020
TORONTO; July 13, 2020 – As with many professional sports, the start of the horse racing season in Ontario was put on hold due to COVID-19. As the province cautiously developed reopening plans, horse racing was able to resume, with minimal staff at the tracks in strict observance of social distancing guidelines – and for the first time, without live fan attendance.
Instead of visiting the track to watch racing, fans would be able to livestream the action on Woodbine Entertainment Group’s HPIBET website or its newly launched Dark Horse mobile app, through which they could also place wagers. It would mark the first time in Ontario’s history that the horse racing season would be viewed by fans virtually.
With this in mind, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) decided they needed a digital-first campaign for Ontario Racing that would get racing fans to the online and mobile destinations where they could reconnect with the sport. The goal was to communicate that live racing had resumed – and also – nod to an active racing industry being part of Ontario’s overall economic recovery.
It was imperative that OLG move quickly though. With most sports leagues remaining inactive through most of the summer, there was a narrow window of time for horse racing to help fill a void for fans that were missing live sports entertainment.
Working with Toronto creative agency, Juniper Park\TBWA, OLG, on behalf of Ontario Racing, created a mix of disruptive, no-nonsense 6-second pre-roll, 15-second digital audio on Spotify, digital display and social posts to drive sports fans with an interest in wagering to a freshly redesigned Ontario Racing website. There, viewers would be introduced to HPIBET and Dark Horse, with easy instructions on how to access each platform. The website was designed by Le Parc Design, the bespoke design studio backed by Juniper Park\TBWA.
The latest campaign and work is a definitive example of how businesses must pivot in order to meet the unique challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In resuming live horse racing without fans in attendance and offering wagering and streaming online, the horse racing industry found its pivot – to help return some sense of normalcy to sports fans by allowing them to once again take in the thrill of live sport.
OLG is a crown agency that develops world-class gaming entertainment for the Province of Ontario. Acting in a socially responsible way, OLG conducts and manages land-based gaming facilities; the sale of province-wide lottery games; PlayOLG Internet gaming; and the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres. OLG is also helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided more than $52 billion to the people and Province of Ontario to support key government priorities like health care; the treatment and prevention of problem gambling; and support for amateur athletes. Each year, proceeds from OLG’s operations also support host communities, Ontario First Nations, lottery retailers and local charities across the province.
About Juniper Park\TBWA
Juniper Park\TBWA (juniperparktbwa.com) is The Disruption® Company: the cultural engine for 21st century business. A global, award-winning agency located in Toronto, Juniper Park\TBWA uses Disruption® methodologies to develop business-changing ideas for brands. The 160+ team of world-class creators and thinkers serves clients across North America, including CIBC, Nissan, PepsiCo, GoDaddy, GSK Consumer Healthcare, Intuit, among others. It is part of TBWA Worldwide (tbwa.com), named as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in both 2019 and 2020, and to Ad Age’s Agency A-List in 2019. Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, or like us on Facebook for the latest updates from the Park.
About Le Parc
Le Parc is a design studio located in Toronto that provides design solutions for today’s on-demand world. Its focus is on delivering disruptive design. Inspired by global culture.