June 2023

British horseracing identified as key soft power asset for the UK in new report titled 'The Future of UK Soft Power: Building a Strategic Framework'


Imagery produced by British Racing in partnership with the GREAT Campaign in June 2023, as part of the industry's drive to position British racing as a vital soft power asset for the UK internationally.

Great British Racing International, alongside 22 other organisations including the British Horseracing Authority, Ascot Racecourse and The Jockey Club, has contributed to a report published in June 2023 by the UK Soft Power Group (UKSPG).

The report, titled The Future of UK Soft Power: Building a Strategic Framework, explains how the UK is facing growing challenges from our allies and strategic rivals alike in the soft power sphere, and highlights that there has never been a more critical need for a clear plan on how to maintain and promote the UK’s soft power strength.

It conveys the appetite within the UK’s soft power sector to align and collaborate better with UK Government in order to strengthen the health of the soft power ecosystem, and maximise the UK’s soft power utility in supporting the UK’s international objectives.

The report concludes that British racing is "a hugely lucrative soft power sphere, with world-famous sporting events including Royal Ascot, the Derby, the Cheltenham Festival and more, attracting a huge number of tourists, global investors, foreign diplomats and policymakers alike, and projecting an image of international excellence for the UK."

Sport is a critical soft power tool that can assist with the development of mutually beneficial, long-term cultural relations, as the contemporary global sports world is by nature underpinned by international exchange and collaboration. Britain’s sporting excellence plays a key role in spreading awareness and engagement with culture, and improving perceptions of openness. UK sport excels at pulling enormous global audiences; racing plays a significant part in this, with the Grand National at Aintree broadcast to a collective audience of over half a billion, and Royal Ascot broadcast in 175 countries, thanks to the competitors the flagship racing festival attracts from across the world.

Full report can be found here.

About the UKSPG

The UKSPG is co-convened by the British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG) and the British Council, and is a network of UK soft power organisations, covering sectors from culture and sport to accountancy and international development. Members’ activities around the world contribute to the international reputation and success of the UK. The Group aims to amplify the voice of the soft power sector and increase its centrality to Government strategic planning, emphasising the value of soft power as a foreign policy instrument.

Contributing Members

Academy of Sport, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Ascot Racecourse, Association of British Orchestras, British Council, British Film Institute, British Foreign Policy Group, British Horseracing Authority, British Library, British Standards Institution, City of London, Coalition for Global Prosperity, Core Cities, Great British Racing International, HALO Trust, Ivors Academy, National Theatre Wales, Premier League, Science Museum Group, The Jockey Club, UK Sport, Universities UK and Wilton Park.

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