NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
|Contact: Chip Tuttle (917) 602-2148
NTRA GIVES ANNUAL ADDRESS AT RACING SYMPOSIUM
Thoroughbred Racing Benchmarked Against Sports, Entertainment
A series of experts and National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Commissioner Tim Smith discussed horseracing's accomplishments and challenges relative to competitors in the sports marketplace today at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program Symposium on Racing in Tucson, Ariz. Smith also provided an update on NTRA membership issues.
Smith led a contingent of speakers that included Breeders' Cup President and NTRA Vice Chairman D.G. Van Clief Jr.; Host Communications Chief Executive Officer W. James Host; Lou Guth, Senior Vice President of National Economic Research Associates; industry consultant Michael D. Shagan; and Merkley Newman Harty Senior Vice President-Business Development Steve Bowen, as well as members of the NTRA staff.
Smith announced a $53 million operating budget for the combined NTRA-Breeders' Cup operation. Regarding membership matters affecting the NTRA, Smith was upbeat while cautioning the industry that its competitors are not standing still.
"I'm optimistic that some of the withdrawing members will return. I think it will be early next year before we know for sure ... in the meantime, we are moving forward with a solid plan and all of our core programs," Smith said. "To be blunt, we do not have the luxury of continuing to spend so much time and energy on internal battles when, at our unified best, we have the strength to compete successfully in a crowded marketplace."
Bowen reviewed the competitive marketplace as background to his presentation of the NTRA television ads to debut in 2001. Host, whose company has recently been named the NTRA's sponsorship agency, discussed horseracing's sponsorship opportunities. Other highlights included:
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of Thoroughbred interests, which in
addition to racetracks, includes owners, breeders, off-track betting
organizations, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and sales companies, among
others. Through membership dues and funding from other horseracing
interests, like the American Quarter Horse Association, the NTRA markets,
advertises, promotes and televises Thoroughbred racing in North America. It
also serves as a catalyst for industry-wide programs benefiting members in
group purchasing, telecommunications and technology, consumer research and
legislative initiatives. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New
York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site,
ntra.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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