A note for newish members of the BGP Community
Over the past six months, the BGP audience has grown quickly and a lot of this can be tied back to our focus on The Karaka Million coupled with recent Punters Clubs and the content blitz over the COVID-19 lock down.
We are back to basics here with what BGP is, what to expect and how to get the most out of it.
The Covid-19 crisis has given BGP a really good opportunity to serve up both valuable and entertaining content amongst a bleak back drop of cancelled racing. Although our community is now in the strength of tens of thousands of people, at the heart of it we are a small group of lads who are passionate about their hobby of horse racing. As we’ve demonstrated our passion further, we’ve attracted more people into the same sport that captivated us a long time ago.
Near on 3 months ago, we were screaming home ninety six thousand on Probabeel at the 2020 Karaka Million with 452 people in one room and 1,350 people in a punters club. Today, we have uncertainty whether we will be allowed to gather 1,000 people at the Karaka Million in 2021.
The point of this quick note is to welcome our newest members joining us in a time of complete uncertainty. We want you to have a general understanding of what BGP is about and in some ways, a bit of certainty.
BGP is a community of like minded people who enjoy horse racing. We started off as a group of mates who would share their best bet on the weekend and pray the horse would salute. Fast forward 8 years and it’s still the same thing. However, now we have 17,000 people along for the ride and where we can, we get excited about New Zealand (and Australian) racing through text, podcasts, video and a few events.
During the lock down, we’ve seen our audience grow quickly across Facebook (Page & group), Instagram, App downloads and even our Paid Supporters Membership. As a result of this, our engagement has gone to record levels too. A lot of this will be exisiting members tuning in to the things we are up to and also some people just chasing escapism during a tough time.
If you’ve been in BGP for a while now (some of you are coming up 9 years!!!) you will be reading nothing new here so to you, this is a refresher. But if this is all new to you, you are probably still wondering what the fark BGP is.
Who BGP Are?
BGP – Boys Get Paid is a community of people just like you. Founded in 2011 by Duan White, he needed a way to share his best horse racing tip for the weekend. As we made more mates in racing, they all joined too. We had no idea it would turn in to what it is today. What started as people posting tips is now A LOT more than that. Tips sit at the heart of what we do but we have expanded into media, events, comps, punters clubs, memberships, a place of belonging, a voice and now we are a part of New Zealand Racing.
These days, Duan works in racing in Australia but still provides us with cryptic punting tips like he always has. A small group of us between NZ and Australia steady the ship and still try to work out what we are doing. As we got bigger we had to dig in to keep the beast going. What used to be accepting a few Facebook posts is now organising events & projects, figuring out how to build apps and how to respond to thousands of messages a month.
We want to provide content that will make people enjoy racing more. Bigger than that, we want to do things that make people’s lives better – that’s more than just racing.
We haven’t sold out to a book maker, a major corporate deal or approaches to be a part of things that will effectively see our voice quietened. Trust us when we say, we’ve had the chance. We’ve done this because we still want it to be fun and we don’t want to be told what we can and can’t say. We want to be ourselves – that is why the audience has increased, not decreased.
We aren’t trying to be anyone other than who we are. Sometimes we’ve been told we need to tone down our swearing. We never told those same people how to run their show and they still haven’t figured it out either so we’ve learnt to put that feedback to the side.
You know, it’s really frustrating being so passionate about a struggling industry because you just want good things to happen, and quickly. Unfortunately the whole industry does too and we’ve accepted that that’s not how life works.
A lot of people have volunteered a lot of time to make BGP work, to put events together, to make podcasts happen, to spread the word and to turn BGP in to what it is today. We aim to keep growing, to keep turning up and pull off more projects.
Last year we got brave and launched a Paid Supporters Membership and today, over 300 of them sit in a separate Facebook Community. These members all contributed to our work and the growth + enrichment of the entire community. We’ve been blown away by the response of these members and are privileged to have their support.
We can’t underestimate the impact that this has had on BGP and racing. We wouldn’t have an app if if weren’t for these Supporters Members. That very app is on over 9,000 peoples phones. That very app engages people in racing every week. Sometimes even daily.
When the world settles down and racing returns to normality, we plan to have a ‘BGP Apprentice’ to help us do even more good for the community and in turn, racing. Again, this will be our Supporters Members making this happen through their financial support.
Racing is about to go into a further state of distress and BGP is going to be rock solid through that, finding new ways to enjoy the sport and shine a spotlight on it.
It would be completely unfair of us not to acknowledge the support we’ve had from racing businesses that have wanted to get in behind what we are doing, they know who they are and we do to. Our whole community knows and we will continue to support them in return.
If you are still reading this, you are probably thinking, holy sh*t this thing is deeper than the few Facebook posts I thought it was – you are right. We’d love to have you deeper in our community and a part of something unique that we coined ‘The Movement’. The best way to do that is to ensure you are in the Boys Get Paid Facebook group, have the app, follow us on socials and get involved in something we have a crack at over the next 12 months.
We aren’t trying to sell you tips, a get rich quick scheme or a polo you don’t want. We are happy if you just sit in the back ground watching. Maybe you want to read up on what’s happening in racing, you can do that. Maybe you want to back a winner, we hope we can find you one. You might want to make some mates, we can definitely help with that. See the beauty of getting to 20,000 people is that there isn’t much we can’t do. As a community we can decide, and get in behind it. We value our community, it’s members and at the heart of that is positivity.
If you are here to be a hero, you’ll find that BGP disappears for you, see ya in advance.
We are stoked to have continued growth of BGP and in particular, our Supporters Members. It’s been a rocky few weeks for a lot of New Zealanders and we see this continuing. We feel like we’ve done a lot to contribute to New Zealand racing in a time where New Zealand isn’t even racing.
Over the next few months, racing will look different and so will New Zealand. BGP might too, but we will continue to show up and do our bit for an industry and sport that we are still as passionate about as we were in 2011. The best bit now is that we have WAY more people to share it with.
We might have had to go away from New Zealand tips which are effectively our roots. We know that what ever we do, we won’t always please everyone. But isn’t that the fun of it, to learn? One thing we won’t do is go away from listening to you guys and what you want to see, hear and be a part of.
Thanks to you for being a part of BGP, you know what this is about. For those stumbling across us, we hope to surprise you and make you wonder how you never knew about this.
If you have any questions or suggestions, we respond to every single e-mail (sh*t we need that apprentice): firstname.lastname@example.org