Despite being held behind closed doors, Royal Ascot remained a truly international event, engaging spectators around the globe at home through the innovative use of digital content and television.
Following the unforeseen events of 2020, a creative approach was taken by Ascot Racecourse to provide fans with their own Royal Ascot experience at home when the event took centre stage in June. From broadcasters streaming from at-home studios and socially distanced teams on-site, to Zoom interviews with jockeys and virtual music performances, key elements of the Royal Meeting were brought to life digitally.
The primary objective of Royal Ascot At Home was to raise money for charities supporting those on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. The #StyledWithThanks campaign invited people to dress-up and celebrate, share photos online and donate to the fundraising page. Additional funds pledged by Betting and Gaming Council members brought the week’s fundraising total to more than £400,000.
The Thames Valley Hero Award for ‘Bracknell Business Hero’ and Southern Enterprise Awards were given in recognition of the racecourse’s extensive community support during the height of the pandemic.
26 volunteers from Ascot and colleagues from CSP – Ascot’s car parking contractor –transported NHS workers and equipment between hospitals for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, collectively clocking up over 1,400 volunteer hours. Ascot also allocated more than £10,000 to local charities in need of immediate assistance including; Slough Foodbank, First Days Charity, Dingley’s Promise, ME2 Club, Foundation 500 and Thames Hospice.
Every team working on Royal Ascot At Home – whether internal, broadcast Partners, Sponsors or agencies – were focused on delivering the very best event in what were incredibly challenging times. Without spectators on site, it was the broadcasted content and the digital experiences that took the viewer truly ‘behind closed doors’.
Outside of the Royal Meeting this year, the team at the racecourse has continued to support the local community with the venue becoming a drive-thru testing centre for several months. The site has now moved to being a flu vaccine centre ahead of the winter months and the racecourse continues with its ongoing partnership with the Berkshire Community Foundation.
For more information on Ascot’s work in the community through ‘Ascot Racecourse Supports’ click here.