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NTRA OUTLINES "PHASE TWO" PROGRAMS AT RACING SYMPOSIUM
Today at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's 28th annual Symposium on Racing, held in Tucson, Ariz., officials from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Breeders' Cup Limited outlined strategic programs for 2002 and beyond for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, national marketing and advertising for Thoroughbred racing, television, sponsorship, and legislative and lobbying activities.
NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith provided a membership update, recapped the NTRA's first four years, outlined the NTRA/Breeders' Cup combined $60 million budget for 2002 and set the theme for today's presentation, "The NTRA - Phase Two."
Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief, Jr. reported on the operational combination between the Breeders' Cup and the NTRA, effected in January, as well as the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and its associated rebranding programs. In 2002, according to Van Clief, Breeders' Cup programs will include greater focus on the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" divisional races, inclusion of European-based horses in World Thoroughbred Championships rankings, event-related bonuses and purses, new Championships venues and marketing partnerships.
SWR Worldwide CEO Greg Schneiders and Senior Vice President John Della Volpe presented preliminary results of new consumer research on horseracing's current, light and lapsed fans. The qualitative research complements the quantitative research produced for the NTRA by ESPN Sports Poll and will provide a foundation for Phase Two marketing programs.
Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president - industry relations and marketing, outlined a strategic program that emphasizes an integrated, tactical marketing plan involving advertising, national consumer promotions, Internet/e-marketing, television and public relations designed to increase attendance and pari-mutuel handle at NTRA member tracks. To aid tracks in long-range planning, Chamblin added, the NTRA will combine its annual Membership Meeting and Marketing Summit beginning in the fall of 2002. The Marketing Summit originally scheduled for March 2002 will be held, with the second Marketing Summit to be held in autumn.
Chip Campbell, NTRA senior vice president - media and sponsorships, reviewed sponsorship programs from 2001 and announced the spring 2002 television schedule as well as John Deere's new title sponsorship of the Breeders' Cup Turf and its divisional races (see separate release).
Greg Avioli, NTRA deputy commissioner and COO, provided an update on the NTRA's legislative programs, including initiatives relating to Internet gaming, international common pooling, the Congressional Horse Caucus, farm aid for breeders affected by Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, immigration, state legislation for the deregulation of the horseracing industry, problem gaming, and proposed EPA regulations that could affect racetracks and other large-scale horse operations.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, and the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program, both of which are funded by the industry's owners and breeders. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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