The Emirates Melbourne Cup is ‘the race that stops a nation’ in Australia — for four or so minutes, the best of the best in thoroughbred horseracing stream down Flemington Racecourse. Millions around Australia watch from televisions in offices, restaurants, hotels, and pubs, all vying to know whether their chosen horse is crowned victorious.
While the race is televised live in Australia, globally it is often difficult to access, streamed online behind paywalls or facing other restrictions. For those away from a TV or outside of Australia, the race isn’t always easily accessible. In 2016, the Victoria Racing Club (@FlemingtonVRC) partnered with Twitter to change that, live-streaming the Emirates Melbourne Cup, online and free, for the first time in the race's 156-year history.
The 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup became the first major event outside of the United States to be streamed live on Twitter, and the first time the race has been streamed online, globally, for free.
The Victoria Racing Club partnered with Twitter to live stream the race to audiences around the world. A specific location for the live stream was set up at melbournecup.twitter.com so it was easy to find for all potential viewers, both those logged into Twitter and those who weren’t. During the day, Twitter, VRC and broadcast partner Seven West Media produced an hour of content in the lead-up and immediately following the race to engage viewers throughout.
To expand and grow its audience globally, @FlemingtonVRC partnered with key advertisers — including AAMI, Sportsbet, MiRunner, Sensis and Emirates — to monetise the live stream through Twitter. In the lead-up to Cup Day, Victoria Racing Club and Channel 7 used Promoted Video and In-Stream Video Sponsorships with Twitter to run pre-roll videos ahead of video content and promote the Cup stream and partner ads to a bigger target audience than it would reach organically.
Emirates Melbourne Cup Day itself is more than just the four-minute race at its centrepiece — parties held at Flemington Racecourse and around Australia mean the conversation about the day, who’s best dressed, and who will win the race, are significant pointers for attention. VRC and Twitter advertising partner @sportsbetcomau sponsored a Promoted Trend for #MelbourneCup on the day to help draw additional audiences to the live stream, as well as the live conversation about the Emirates Melbourne Cup.