Race Tracking Solution (PMU)

A comprehensive horse race tracking, visualisation, analytics and betting solution for PMU, the second-largest horse racing businesses in the world.

Guillaume Dolbeau

BeTomorrow’s creativity, dynamism, skills and know-how are major assets that allowed us to create this innovative service. That and a strong partnership aimed at developing new projects based on the use of new technologies.

Guillaume Dolbeaue-PMU Manager

Client

PMU is the original business in charge of horserace betting in France. Since opening of the market in 2012, PMU also offers bets on sports and online poker, however horserace betting still represents more than 90% of total wagers (worth €10bn in 2014).

PMU is the currently the largest horserace operator in Europe and the second-largest in the world. Every year PMU pays out its entire net profit to racing associations, whose role is to organise races and maintain tracks. PMU thus contributes to the financing of 80% of the equine sector, which is directly responsible for 180,000 jobs.

Brief

Faced with declining horserace betting revenues, PMU engaged BeTomorrow with the following objectives in mind:

  • To engage new audiences via engaging and comprehensive digital media services across multiple platforms
  • To deepen existing fan engagement by offering deeper insights & actions
  • To achieve the above with a system that is significantly simpler, less costly and more reliable than current best-in-class

Results

Early in the project the team identified a key enabler: the ability to track horses in live races. Tracking would allow ranking (plus other interesting derivatives e.g. speed, acceleration, stride count, etc) to be relayed live to fans via mobile, tablet and TV. Even better, given PMU’s involvement in both the racing and betting, tracking would make it possible for viewers to see a personalised view of racing i.e. with their chosen horses’ ranking shown in real time.

No suitable tracker (i.e. small, light and accurate enough) was available on the open-market so the BeTomorrow team set about designing and building one – plus the associated suite of mobile, tablet and TV tools. This work is ongoing but so far progress has been encouraging.

The final tracker will employ a proprietary blend of technologies including GPS (RTK), inertial navigation coupled with software smoothing algorithms. This solution will need to work reliably in a very congested radio environment, so proprietary communication protocols are also being developed. Lastly the human systems and processes are a big focus, in order to ensure the final solution can be quickly and reliably deployed throughout France and beyond.