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NTRA, ESPN HORSERACING WEB SITES SHOW SIGNIFICANT TRAFFIC INCREASES DURING 2002 KENTUCKY DERBY SEASON
Both ntra.com, the official Web site of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), and the horseracing section of ESPN.com, are reporting unprecedented increases in site traffic coinciding with the running of this year's Kentucky Derby and the weeks leading up to it.
The number of site visitors to ntra.com was up 19% during this past March and 51% in April compared with 2001 figures. Page views at ntra.com increased 59% in March and 701% in April compared to last year's corresponding levels. (See chart below.)
During the period May 1-5, 2002, ntra.com received 65,960 visitors who accounted for 684,464 page views.
At ESPN.com, 1,076,457 visitors toured the horseracing section and generated 3,739,397 page views during the first week of May (May 1-7) alone. The May 1-7 page view tally was greater than the section had ever previously attracted during an entire month.
"We're very encouraged by these Web site numbers and hope to keep the momentum going throughout the 2002 Triple Crown," said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president of marketing and industry relations for the NTRA. "The traffic increases are, in part, a tribute to the excellence and commitment of NTRA Productions, which oversees both sites. As the sport's popularity continues to grow, we want fans to take advantage of what these sites have to offer."
The NTRA Web site, ntra.com, was relaunched on Feb. 15 of this year, featuring an extensive redesign and a greater focus on fan education. Included in the revamped site is a new "Bet the Net" game intended to teach newcomers the fundamentals of handicapping.
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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