Doing business with the Cotswold Hunt

Gloucestershire is one of the UK’s most affluent counties, with the spa town of Cheltenham at its heart. Residents in the county enjoy a high standard of living amid some of the most beautiful scenery and architecture in the world.

Gloucestershire’s wealth might have been founded on wool, and latterly on aerospace, but whatever the origin of its affluence, the county has a leisure culture built around one animal – the horse.

Horse events abound – Cheltenham Racecourse, Badminton Horse Trials, Cirencester Polo – and a legion of smaller events testify to the popularity of horse events at the centre of social and sporting excellence. The Cotswold Hunt sits astride all these activities as a route to speak to a land and property owning demographic, both urban and rural, that lives and works in the county.

Who are our customers?

In recent research at one of our events, we discovered that 65% of attendees were in full-time or self-employment, 40% drove an All Wheel Drive vehicle, 70% lived in rural areas, a very high proportion were animal lovers (82% owned a horse, 63% a dog, 40% a cat), their average household income was greater than £50,000, against a national average of £30,000, and they over-indexed as readers of the Telegraph, Times and Daily Mail.

If therefore you have a brand that is directed toward an affluent, home-owning demographic between 25-65, this is a group you could target through us with success.

What are our events?

The Cotswold Hunt is at the heart of a sociable culture that brings people together for sport or entertainment on a very regular basis. The Supporters’ Club rarely goes a month without a fresh event, but the four biggest public events attract thousands of visitors each year.

  • The Team Chase, held in the superb surrounds of Foxcote, near Andoversford, provides thrills and spills galore as teams race over open country in time trials.
  • The Christmas Fair brings together an eclectic mix of exhibitors to provide a unique Cotswold slant on Christmas shopping
  • The Hunt Ball is the winter’s gala occasion, assembling 600 guests in spectacular splendour for an evening of fine dining and dancing
  • The Point-to-Point draws together the Midlands’ strongest racing enthusiasts for some high class sport near the Hunt HQ at Andoversford

Collectively, these events deliver continuous access to a core community of country enthusiasts in the county, all bound together within the community of the Cotswold Hunt event calendar.

What’s in it for you and your business?

Sponsorship of the Cotswold Hunt can be as flexible or adaptable as you want it to be, to meet your specific corporate objectives, and of course, your budget.

What we deliver can be from among the following:

  • Brand awareness
    Lending your name to a race or event means the title is carried in literature relating to the event, in results and reports, and triggers name recognition with consumers through repeated Public Address mentions. This familiarity provides a platform for subsequent calls to action to consumers or customers.
  • Newspaper and media partnerships
    Community sports like Team Chasing and Point-to-Point racing resonate with local media owners and stories from amidst their readers provide reasons to purchase. Sport, local or national, is a key driver to circulation and drives online page impressions. The national bodies behind Team Chasing and Point-to-Point racing work hard to provide visibility for themselves through news portals, both online and in print. Media owners, hungry for content, are willing to partner with sponsors to drive consumer interest and stimulate participation.
  • Data capture
    Our events lend themselves very well to data capture solutions. Followers are hungry for information, and ticket competitions are always well subscribed. In addition the lengthy dwell time at each event provides ample opportunity to engage consumers, between races, out shopping, between team classes or after dinner! And we’re geared up to communicate regularly with our customers by direct mail, social media and online newsletters.
  • Experiential activity and product placement
    That dwell time also plays to a sponsor’s advantage in presenting goods directly for sale. Whilst footfall numbers are not on a par with the county show circuit, the quality of the audience is stronger, and one or two customers can make a huge difference. Stands are well supported, and represent excellent value either for FMCG goods or for professional products and services.
  • Online exposure, social media and SEO
    Fresh content is key to accelerating your online footprint. Media releases about upcoming events, news stories about fancied runners, and reports of close-fought finishes all lend themselves to stronger sponsor name recognition and improved Search Engine Optimization. And social media is taking this exposure to fresh and younger audiences, and providing great interaction with the customer.
  • Ticket inventory
    Everyone loves a day or a night out. We want our events to be well supported by the public. Ticket inventory can be used to bring guests, reward or incentivize customers or staff, or to run media competitions. Ultimately, this is a simple way to provide a prompt to a lapsed customer, or to say thank you to an existing one.
  • Hospitality
    Cotswold Hunt events cover the full range of hospitality options from picnics from the boot of your car to Black Tie balls. The annual Hunt Ball is a celebrated diary date from year to year when the county gathers in all its finery to enjoy a gala evening. It’s a perfect way to entertain key customers or to position your business in front of some key decision-makers.

Case studies

Case study – Robert Hitchins Group

The Robert Hitchins Group, a privately owned, family run company is Gloucestershire’s leading property developer with extensive and significant residential, commercial property, land and estate management interests, both home and overseas.

With over 50 years’ experience in the Cotswolds and surrounding counties the company has long been recognised as having the confidence and trust necessary to deal with the increasingly complex issues of land sales, acquisition and management.

RHG has been the title sponsor of the Cotswold Point to Point for many years, lending its name to the event and to one of the feature races during the afternoon. Whilst the sport is always centre of the day’s events, it has acted as a colourful backdrop to an entertaining opportunity for local and regional land owners and managers to meet in a relaxed social and professional environment.

Tony McFarlane of RHG comments “We’ve enjoyed nearly 20 years of close involvement with the Cotswold Point to Point, the relaxed ambience of the occasion makes it a highly personable experience, offering excellent value in sponsoring an established event where our brand credentials are well presented and recognised”.

Case study – Willans

Willans is a full service legal firm based in Cheltenham, with specialisms in commercial and private client services, and charities. The firm advises on a wide range of issues facing rural businesses, providing practical solutions on both commercial and property matters affecting agri-businesses. Frank Smith, lead lawyer for the Rural Business division, needed to put Willans in front of his current and potential customers, namely landowners, purchasers of prime agricultural property, equestrian businesses and farming partnerships.

The Cotswold Hunt was able to service this requirement, offering a meet and greet drop-in facility at the Point-to-Point, where Frank was able to entertain customers, exchange business cards, and generate leads in a relaxed and informal way that reflected the culture of his customers’ businesses rather than the more forced environment of the office.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the response to this low level activity,” reported Frank. “The races provided a very conducive atmosphere for networking, and as a result, we were able to put our attributes and expertise across without appearing to be too hard a sales pitch. This was not solely about acquiring new business; it’s as important to be seen among your existing clients as among new ones, and the racing crowd certainly provided that”.

Contact

For details of how to get involved with our events, please call Peter McNeile on 07850 091523 or email petermcneile@gmail.com.

Page updated: 1 April 2017