Harness Racing Victoria opened Tabcorp Park Melton for racing on July 5, 2009. 

In a bold move, Harness Racing Victoria is moving away from the term Harness Racing, branding itself as The Trots.

Officially launched at the AG Hunter Cup by HRV Chairman Ken Latta, The Trots becomes the new consumer brand for the sport across the state. The launch of The Trots brand coincided with a new marketing campaign for the sport, titled Hot To Trot.

HRV Marketing Manager Tony Ising explains the principle behind the radical changes.

“This process came out of the HRV Board’s Strategic Plan, which identifies the need for us to become a sport of the future. We engaged a specialist marketing agency to conduct market research for us which revealed that the term ‘The Trots’ had phenomenal brand recall. Research also indicated that The Trots evokes a fondness of a sentimental era of success. Everyone speaks about The Trots with a smile on their face.

“We wanted to capitalise on a common term that is already part of the everyday vernacular to help us launch The Trots back to market.  The move to branding our sport as The Trots begins with a campaign to be known as Hot To Trot, designed to appeal to a younger audience.

“Hot To Trot defines the brand personality of The Trots. It provides a rallying call for our industry to unite behind one message. It helps set a standard – an expectation – of service delivery.

“The Hot To Trot campaign is designed to inject a renewed sense of pride into our industry. We believe our most powerful ambassadors are those within the sport, and Hot To Trot provides a vehicle for our people to represent the sport with pride and positivity.

“A flow on effect of this will be attracting new people to the sport. If we present a fresh new image of the sport which is embraced and supported by our industry, the consequences could be immensely powerful.”

Ising explains that everyone has a role in helping implement the new brand.

“The first thing we can start doing is referring to our sport as The Trots whenever we speak or write about it. The fact is – and our research confirms this – the term harness racing has done little to lift the profile of our sport. By bringing back The Trots we also bring back some of that missing familiarity that has seen us lose visibility in the marketplace and the media.

“The next thing we can all do is start speaking positively about our industry.  We are part of a magnificent sport with a wonderful community – there’s plenty to get excited about. We can start by saying ‘I’m Hot To Trot. Are you?’ And if you are Hot To Trot, you are talking our industry up.

“You’ll be surprised how infectious a positive demeanour can be. Before too long everyone in Victoria will be Hot To Trot and we’ll all be enjoying a Trots renaissance.”

Hot To Trot