I am sure over the next week you will hear mention of the 40th anniversary of Secretariat’s memorable win at the 1973 Belmont Stakes. They’ll reminisce about that Saturday afternoon at Belmont Raceway when the heralded three-year old in blue and white checked silks won horseracing’s elusive Triple Crown. That seminal moment is the inspiration behind the name of our agency. You see, where as most horses win by a nose, a head or a length, Secretariat won by an unprecedented 31 Lengths.
I always found that race defining in so many ways. Let me start by saying, I am not a horse racing fan. I’ve never been to a track and I’m not even sure about the ethics of the sport.
But, the event was an awe-inspiring thing of beauty. Watch it on YouTube. It will give you goose bumps. For me as a child, it defined domination, success and performance in their purest forms. The last quarter of a mile, Big Red, as Secretariat was called, and his jockey Ron Turcotte were no longer running against other thoroughbreds. Instead, they were racing against time and the ages and definitions of greatness.
I also remember the other four horses in the race. Their spirits broken, they seemed to be competing in a different contest. As you watch towards the end, Secretariat’s lead is so great, the camera has to widen its aperture – making the other horses actually look like they’re running backwards.
So, why did we name the agency “31 Lengths”? Because we believe the ad industry has lost focus on what we are really all about. That is, helping our clients perform, succeed and dominate. We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to this – even in the naming of the agency.
And the mission of our agency? Easy. To make the other guys look like they’re running backwards.