Racing League has a mission to reimagine horse racing—and Web3 loyalty platform The Winners Circle is a key pillar of its effort to introduce the sport to a broader audience.

Powered by Zilliqa, The Winners Circle is creating a “more interactive experience” to draw young, tech-savvy fans to horse racing, the ERC-20 blockchain's Head of Business Development - Sports & Gaming, Tom Fleetham, told Decrypt.

Those young audiences are “not going to passively just consume content in the way that previous generations have,” Fleetham said. To that end, The Winners Circle gives fans the opportunity to unlock access to exclusive rewards and opportunities through holding its fan token HRSE.

Those rewards include merchandise discounts, event tickets, and racehorse ownership syndicate shares, while fans will also be able to participate in a fantasy prediction game to win HRSE rewards.

HRSE also functions as a governance token that enables holders to vote on pivotal team decisions, ranging from “designing the design of the jersey to what horse should be selected during drafts,” Fleetham said.

The Winners Circle is able to be “bolder in those things that can be put up to a vote than, say, a Premier League team,” he added. That’s because Racing League is a “relatively new format and organization,” he said, without the tangle of deals and governing bodies that’s resulted in an “underwhelming” governance experience for fan token holders across other sports.

Racing League introduces the element of team-based competition to horse racing, with 36 competitive races in an easily recognizable league format. The move is designed to broaden the appeal of the sport, said Racing League CEO Jeremy Wray. “Many people have a perception that racing is pretty elitist,” he told Decrypt. “Actually, deeper down in this sport, it’s the second-biggest employer in the UK.”

He explained that the team-based format is designed to “simplify” the sport to “people who’ve dipped in and out of horse racing,” by enabling audiences to form a connection with teams and follow them on their journey through the league. Through The Winners League, he said, fans can “focus on the people involved,” adding that the platform has “people interacting the whole time and sharing their experiences.”

Future plans include a fantasy racing game, initially taking the form of a prediction game and ultimately evolving into a “sort of Football Manager, but for horse racing” experience, said Fleetham.

As well as ticket rewards, Fleetham said, The Winners Circle will “add more partners to the ecosystem over time,” including “hotels and other complementary partners to support a day at the races.”

Wray noted that future rewards on The Winners Circle could even give fans the opportunity to “go down to a racing yard, see the thousands of people involved in racing in the background, working in the yards, looking after the horses, foodstuffs, vets—all the other bits that go on.”

“It's about understanding how people want to be entertained, what they enjoy doing,” said Wray. “Find out what it is that they like, see how much of that dovetails with what we've already got, and we can fit them in.”

He added that he’s excited to see how The Winners Circle can “crossover between the digital fan and the person who actually does go racing,” adding that, “From my point of view, it's endless, the ideas we've got for engaging people in the sport.”

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