These days, it’s always difficult to know what to buy business clients as incentive gifts. Most of them are plain boring – and they often come across as a little sleazy, to say the least, particularly with younger entrepreneurs who want to do something a little more lateral and creatively minded.
So we need to think outside the proverbial box here a little and come up with something that few people have thought of before.
One really off beat idea that can be a lot of fun is to buy someone a share in a racehorse – seriously.
This can be a surprisingly affordable thing to do – and is a hugely exciting and a certainly very different form of business (or private) gift – particularly for the recipient.
Another variation on a similar theme is to take a long-range punt on a well-known gambling event and give the betting slip to a client as your gift. This carries with it months of excitement and lasts as long as the wager lasts. It also helps cement relationships with a client in the way that no other gift we’re aware of does because it comes with a lasting and mutual excitement – particularly if you’ve taken the same bet yourself.
So at Christmas, for example, we’re still three months away from one of the biggest betting events of the entire UK sports calendar, the Cheltenham Festival.
Next year’s big race will be held on March 10th (Tuesday) and if you have a look at the Cheltenham Festival betting info – and seek out a horse whose trainer says he (or she…) is being set up for a crack at the race, then the longer ante-post odds you’ll get by betting now should work out to very big excitement on the day.
With ante post odds, you’re paying a premium in the sense that the bet is lost if the horse fails to run due to injury, for example, or any other reason. But on the other hand, the odds you’re going to get are likely to be far larger than they will be on the day. So by picking something that you’ve read is being specifically prepared for Cheltenham, you (and your client) have a far greater chance of it taking its place in the race line-up on the day. It’s quite possible to get odds of up between 50-1 and 100-1 on a horse now which could be far shorter on the day if it runs. So the bet doesn’t need to be huge for the excitement and fun it can bring.
The great thing about this kind of off-beat bet-cum-gift is that it can be individually tailored, it’s as durable as you design it to be, it’s nicely personal, a bit of fun – yet it carries with it the genuine possibility of a meaningful win.
So if, for example, a client is into his of her golf in a big way, or tennis, then you could design a “Yankee” bet for the four major tournaments in each sport. And if you add singles to that bet, it would see out most of the year (up to September anyway when the last two majors in both these sports are played).
Another alternative is the ever-growing experiential gift market where you can buy everything from a day at a racetrack driving Formula One cars, to hot air ballooning, parachuting, horse riding, go-karting, flying or you name it – it will be there somewhere.
It beats the pen and ink set or the bottle of whisky or Champagne, etc. hands-down anyway – and is a lot more personal in a nice and far less sleazy kind of way.
But the racehorse is surely the most exciting of the lot!