Thoroughbred Racing Groups Launch National Ad Campaign

May 28, 2020 (Lexington, KY) – The Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club have launched a national ad campaign titled “Still. Running. Strong.” to promote Thoroughbred racing as major racetracks across the country resume live racing without spectators during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations announced today.

The campaign, which includes broadcast, digital, and social media elements, comes at a time when other major sports are on hiatus and horse racing is receiving unprecedented levels of live television coverage on NBC Sports and FOX Sports.

In addition to Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club, significant financial support for the campaign was provided by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA); TVG, an affiliate of the FanDuel Group; the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA); and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

“As more of our major venues get back to live racing and with people at home seeking diversion and entertainment, we wanted to be proactive about promoting the sport to a broader audience,” said Drew Fleming, President and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup. “Horse racing has a unique opportunity to lead the way as we resume operations safely and, in doing so, provide fun and excitement for millions of sports fans and bettors across the country.”

The campaign highlights the bond between human and horse along with the thrill of watching and betting on horses that sets horse racing apart. Digital and social media executions promote the legal on-line wagering aspects of the sport, directing people to a new landing page on America’s Best Racing’s website, featuring fan education materials, wagering basics and links to horse racing’s advanced-deposit wagering platforms.

“With racing returning to major circuits and the addition of many hours of live programming on Fox Sports and NBC Sports there is now a unique opportunity to appeal to new fans and ask them to sample Thoroughbred racing,” said Jim Gagliano, President & COO of The Jockey Club. “Our goal is to increase awareness of racing as an option for these potential customers, engage with them, and provide the initial tools for them to learn more and break down barriers to participation. We are grateful to NTRA, TVG, KTA, and TOBA for supporting our efforts to promote racing and look forward to working with others to grow the campaign.”

“On behalf of our member tracks and horsemen’s organizations, we are happy to support this collaborative effort, especially during this unique window of opportunity,” said Alex Waldrop, NTRA President and CEO.

While most professional sports seasons have been sidelined or restricted to mitigate risks associated with human-to-human contact in the midst of the pandemic, horse racing has been able to operate safely in many jurisdictions under strict screening, sanitation and health protocols under guidance from public health officials and other experts.

The campaign launches today and will run on NBC Sports, FOX Sports and a variety of targeted digital and social channels. It was developed by Boston-based agency CTP, the Breeders’ Cup’s longtime advertising agency.

For more information visit AmericasBestRacing.net/Strong.

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NTRA Safety And Integrity Alliance Releases Best Practices For Spectator-Free Racing

May 7, 2020

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance today released a document outlining best practices for North American racetracks determined to prioritize the health and safety of all participants and employees, when conducting live racing in a spectator-free environment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The comprehensive document will assist racetracks that wish to resume live racing by establishing the safest public health environment possible, while also enabling gainful employment and economic activity at a time of uncertainty for so many. These best practices are based upon the most current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), input from racetracks across the U.S. that are already conducting live racing and/or training, and feedback from a newly established Public Health Advisory Council consisting of experts in public health, epidemiology and horseracing who have agreed to contribute their expertise to racetrack re-opening efforts.

In addition to public health protocols established by the CDC, the document includes detailed racetrack-specific operational guidelines. These include the establishment of a COVID-19 Safety Team to manage the myriad issues and situations that may arise when conducting live racing, cleaning and sanitation protocols, frontside operations involving essential employees only, racing and stable area operations that facilitate maximum physical distancing, health and safety requirements specific to jockeys, as well as other public health and safety recommendations.

Initial members of the Public Health Advisory Council include:
· Dr. Rick Greenberg, Infectious Disease Specialist, University of Kentucky
· Dr. Hiram Polk, Former Public Health Commissioner, Kentucky Dept. for Public Health
· Dr. Kelly Ryan, Family and Sports Medicine Specialist, MedStar Health
· Dr. Barry Schumer, Track Physician, Keeneland

“The current economic situation facing many in the horse racing industry make it critical that we work with relevant local authorities to help tracks across the country return to racing as soon as is safely possible,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “To this end, the NTRA has engaged a variety of stakeholders and consulted with multiple public health experts to produce comprehensive guidelines that will serve as a blueprint for tracks seeking to operate safely and responsibly in the current public health environment. We urge racetracks to tailor these protocols to fit their unique conditions by working closely with their state and local health department officials, as so much about the safest response to this pandemic is local in nature.”

Version 1.0 of the full document outlining all of the best practices can be found here: https://mk0ntrauj6jy9vera.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/NTRA_Covid_19_Plan_5.6.20-V6-FINAL.pdf

Updates to these best practices will be made on an ongoing basis as necessary.

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