80’s day

Ascot Racecourse



To drive a mainstream attendance to Ascot for the Shergar Cup, which also had an 80s music themed event in the evening.


Our research suggested that the broader target audience had little interest in the racing itself, and even hard-core racegoers remained sceptical of the unique format; an international team event featuring the world’s leading jockeys.


In previous years Ascot had focused their communications on the quality of the racing at the Shergar Cup, with crafted images of thoroughbreds, jockeys and international flags. Our simple but radical solution was to engage occasional racegoers by focusing on the entertainment, whilst also reminding the audience of the quality and sophistication that you’d expect from any event at Ascot Racecourse.

We developed a visually distinctive campaign – executed through print and online media to reach a much broader leisure audience – featuring a jockey made up as an 80s new romantic, conveying the unique character of the event in a fun and arresting way.


Over 33,000 attended on the day, up 27% on the previous year (despite appalling weather on the day itself). The campaign was so successful that Ascot re-used the same creative concept and strategy in 2011 prompting a bumper crowd of over 30,000 again for only the second time in the history of the Shergar Cup.

“Had it been a nice day, the crowd maybe would’ve been as high as 35,000, which is unheard of.”

John Blake
Head of Sales and Marketing
Ascot Racecourse