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INTEREST IN HORSERACING UP SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
The number of people in the United States who said they have an interest in horseracing increased for the second straight year, it was announced today by TNS Intersearch - ESPN Sports Poll at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's fourth annual Marketing Summit in Las Vegas.
With a 5.4 percent increase, horseracing was one of only four sports that experienced growth in its fan base from 2000-2001 among the U.S. population (age 12-plus), ESPN Sports Poll officials said.
"Over the past several years, only a select few fan bases have continued to show steady growth year to year," said Tracy Schoenadel, executive director, ESPN Sports Poll. "Horseracing is one of those fan bases that continues to grow in an industry cluttered with choices. This is impressive."
2000-2001 Fan Interest for Major Sports
Percentage Change in Fan Base 2000-2001
Note: Some sports, including professional golf and tennis, changed reporting methodology from 2000-2001 and, as a result, were not included.
The number of people 12-plus who say they are interested in horseracing has grown from 30.4 percent in 1999 to 31.5 percent in 2000 to 33.3 percent in 2001. The horseracing fan base among adults (18+) has increased from 31.2 percent since 1999 to 32.3 percent in 2000 and 33.3 percent in 2001.
"The increase in consumer interest is encouraging," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "The results indicate that increased national television and other marketing steps we have taken to address the awareness issue are paying off. Our collective challenge as marketers is to turn this positive interest trend into increased participation."
In other findings from the monthly ESPN Sports Poll tracking data, among horseracing fans, awareness of the NTRA increased in 2001 from 29.4 percent to 56.5 percent and awareness of the slogan, "Go Baby Go" increased from 16.5 percent to 20.3 percent.
ESPN Sports Poll conducts monthly telephone surveys to track interest in major sports. Respondents who say they are "a little bit interested" in a sport are included in the fan base. For a copy of the ESPN Sports Poll presentation delivered at the Marketing Summit, contact Amy Boccuzzi at the NTRA in New York, (212) 907-9282.
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, the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, NTRA.com.
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