We spoke to Senior Account Executive Jake Comaschi about his PR work at this month’s Grand National, delving into a few of the details behind the iconic race at Aintree.
What is it about the Grand National that makes it special?
The thing that makes the Grand National so special in my view, is that it’s the only day of the year people outside of racing are interested in racing. There are friends and family that will reach out to one another, up and down the country and all over the world, wanting to know who has backed who and I think there’s something magical about that.
On the racing front, it’s clear what makes it so special. There’s no other race in the world like it that can capture the imagination and attention for 10 solid minutes while never taking its foot off the pedal.
How did SITA cover the Grand National?
Like any big race, it’s not just the main event we’re working on at SITA but the whole meeting too. In this case, the Aintree Meeting involved us writing race copy, creating engaging social posts, and distributing press releases as to where the money was heading throughout the week. We had a man firmly on the ground in Merseyside taking care of one of our client accounts while I was stationed a bit further South.
Looking at William Hill Racing’s Twitter platform, we amassed 368,329 impressions on the account and 12,347 engagements across the three-day meeting. Alongside these figures, our talented Design team were producing creative infographics for other clients which looked at successful Grand National sires to help followers find a winner! This was all alongside our work writing expert race copy.
What are your favourite Grand National memories?
I wish I could answer this with the time I backed a big, priced winner like this year’s Noble Yeats (50/1) but alas I’ve never so much as picked a horse to place in the big one. So, as for my favourite memory, I would probably have to go with last year's renewal which saw Minella Times and Rachael Blackmore rule victorious. We were in lockdown at the time and instead of frequenting my local where I normally watch the race, I watched it with my sister. I remember seeing how moved she was that a female rider had landed the world’s biggest race, and it really struck me how important of a role racing has in wider social issues, and that is something everyone in racing should look to welcome.
What was your favourite Grand National-related social media post?
This video from ITV racing is great for the sport. A sport in which so many barriers to entry exist and I think content like this really breaks down some of those daunting obstacles for the non-racing public. ITV are clearly trying their hardest to find the balance between the hardcore racing fan and attracting newcomers to the sport, and while it’s an impossible task sometimes, social media can often be the best place to bridge that gap and hopefully entice a few new fans.