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Published: 16 April 2016

New business model benefits historical organisation

An organisation founded more than 250 years ago that turned to the School for bespoke training on how to maximise revenue in a competitive market has reaped the benefit with an increase in its returns.

The Jockey Club, established in 1750, worked with Surrey’s Professor Andrew Lockwood, Forte Professor of Management, and Sylvia Ganbert, expert in Revenue Management, to generate ideas that could be practically returned back into the business, and linked to best practice examples from hospitality, airlines and sports venues.

The Jockey Club is the largest commercial group in British horseracing, with assets including Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom Downs and Newmarket racecourses. With horseracing the UK’s second biggest spectator sport, The Jockey Club is an organisation steeped in heritage but driven by innovation.

Despite its commercial success, it was recognised that there was a need to drive revenue outside the core body of racing fixtures and to maximise profits through tactical pricing, which The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to reinvest back into British Racing.

Identifying that The Jockey Club could drive revenue by adopting more dynamic pricing models went alongside the recognition that, historically, its pricing strategy had been more static.

Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “Our teams are split across 15 different locations, all facing distinct challenges. We recognised that there was a need to come together and explore creative pricing strategies so that each region would be empowered to take learnings and adapt them to their own local challenges.”

The programme delivered a day-and-half course during which The Jockey Club’s regional teams competed against each other in a simulation that echoed its changing marketplace.

Using an online hotel simulation, each team was able to make pricing, marketing and distribution decisions based on real data, testing theories and analysing performance. Working together encouraged people to make bold decisions related to marketing spend, pricing and understanding segmentation and explored how they could improve results.

“It’s had a great effect. The programme has led to a different mindset on pricing and distribution and, with changes that have been made across the business, we have seen revenues increase and that helps us to fulfil our mission to support the long-term health of British Racing,” said Paul.

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