Jackie Donohoe of Naas Racecourse
This week, KildareNow sat down with Sales and Marketing Manager of Naas Racecourse, Jackie Donohoe to discuss new developments at the racing venue.
Q: What initiatives are being implementing to attract more Naas residents?
JD: This year we launched a new initiative called ‘Naas Town Goes Racing’, the day itself takes place on July 6th. The aim is to encourage the locals to join us, experience what we have to offer and connect with the local community. It is really important for us to ensure our community feels part of Naas Racecourse so we wanted to reach out to the entire community, young, old, families, residents and businesses.
We have something for everyone on the Naas Town Goes Racing day from racing, BBQ, music, family fun activities and Pop Up Units from local businesses.
We also teamed up with Tidy Towns and Caragh Nurseries to support the Naas Tidy Towns competition and the winner will be announced on the day along with the winner of our Primary Schools art competition.
Q: Non-racing events are also vital to the Racecourse. What is being planned in this area?
JD: Definitely. Our non raceday activities have substantially increased in the latter part of 2018 and in 2019. This comes down to our upgraded facilities in 2018, we are located in a prime location just off the N7 and just minutes’ walk from Naas Town, we have ample parking and Wi-Fi facilities, which are all contributing factors to the increase in non raceday activities.
Currently we facilitate a number of educational courses each week, Naas Park Run every Saturday and various events from Naas Rugby Awards, team building days, to the Topline Mens Shed Day.
From July the Courthouse will be moved to the Racecourse for a few months while repairs are carried out at the Courthouse and in August Wyclef Jean will headline a concert here at the track.
We have a large event booked in August 2020 for approx 3,000 people who will use Naas Racecourse as a base for 3 weeks. This event will certainly bring further income to businesses in Naas Town. We can be slightly restricted with what we can facilitate due to our racing calendar but always happy to accommodate where and when we can.
Q: Will the upgrade of the M7 motorway be a major factor in encouraging racegoers from Dublin and surrounding counties?
JD: Yes the new road network will improve the overall accessibility to Naas which will certainly play in our favour.
The works have been a huge inconvenience for everyone over the past number of months but it will of course be worth the wait!
Q: You have a high-pressure but rewarding job. What do you enjoy most about it?
I enjoy the variety, my role is not just a Marketing and Sales role but there is a large focus on hospitality, sponsorship and event management which I find challenging but rewarding when results are achieved, or new sponsors are gained.
There is no better feeling than seeing hard work pay off with a strong crowd coming through the turnstiles, a good atmosphere, happy customers and of course high calibre racing.
We are a small close-knit team, driven by an ambitious Management team who strive to achieve high standards ensuring Naas Racecourse is at the forefront of Irish racing.
Our general manager Tom Ryan has recently left the company after 13 years, his predecessor will have big boots to fill!