A SIS-sponsored initiative to encourage greyhound ownership has led to a huge increase of interest in what was a declining market.
SIS and BAGS, the Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Service, agreed to sponsor the Racing Post’s classified ads so owners could advertise their greyhounds free of charge, instead of the usual £80 fee.
Before the SIS/BAGS sponsorship began in the spring, only one or two owners per week offered racing greyhounds for sale in the Racing Post. Now the Thursday classifieds page attracts between 15 and 20 each week.
Mark Sutherland, Classified Sales Manager at the Racing Post, said the paper approached SIS and BAGS for help when it realised confidence in the greyhound racing industry was falling.
“Four years ago we were taking two pages of advertising, then confidence dropped in racing and people became worried about spending money on an advert,” he said.
“Owners were hanging onto dogs rather than selling them, because £80 is a lot to spend if you’re not sure whether you’ll find a buyer. Now people are putting dogs up for sale because they have nothing to lose.”
He added: “It’s having a positive impact on the industry because things are getting moving again, and it’s bringing people back to the Racing Post on Thursdays because that’s when we have our classified page. We’re really pleased with the response.”
Brent Dolan, Director of Operations, SIS Betting, said: “We’re always keen to support our key industries and it’s great that it’s going so well. We’re already speaking to BAGS about further initiatives, including the possibility of greyhound ownership, to keep the momentum going.”