A. The World Thoroughbred Championships is a new supporting brand for the Breeders' Cup, Thoroughbred racing's eight-race, $13 million Championship day. It describes more accurately what the Breeders' Cup has become in its 17-year history: an unmatched day of international races that largely determine our sport's year-end champions. The new brand helps communicate that positioning more powerfully, while helping fans follow more easily the top races and divisional competition that lead up to the Breeders' Cup via the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships." Q. What is the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships"?
A. It is two things:
1. Over 55,000 races are run annually at Thoroughbred meets in the U.S. The "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" includes the top races -- graded stakes -- in the eight divisions that culminate in the Breeders' Cup, plus top international races. Those divisions (and their corresponding Breeders' Cup races) are two-year-olds fillies (Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies) or colts/geldings (Breeders' Cup Juvenile); sprinters (Breeders' Cup Sprint); milers racing on grass (Breeders' Cup Mile); fillies and mares (Breeders' Cup Distaff); fillies and mares racing on grass (Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf); three-year-old or older horses racing on grass (Breeders' Cup Turf); and three-year-old or older horses (Breeders' Cup Classic). For 2001, the "Road To" is comprised specifically of those races held from June 11 through October 27. In future years, the NTRA and Breeders' Cup will expand the "Road To" to include other appropriate races.
2. It is the umbrella brand of the national television coverage of these races.Q. What led NTRA and Breeders' Cup to create this new brand?A. Two interrelated goals: increasing consumer understanding of our sport and aligning more corporate sponsors and their brands with "major league" horseracing.1. Consumer research conducted over the last two years showed the need to do a better job communicating -- especially to horseracing's 30 million light and lapsed fans -- the Breeders' Cup's role as a season-culminating competition that largely determines the sport's champions. The new brand helps communicate that positioning more powerfully, while helping fans follow more easily the top races and divisional competition that lead up to the Breeders' Cup via the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships."
2. The NTRA/Breeders' Cup joint operation, which started January 1 of this year, allows us to package the combined assets of the NTRA, the sport's "league office," with Thoroughbred racing's season-ending Championship, the Breeders' Cup, in integrated sponsor programs that resemble more closely what our competitors in other sports offer. In addition, this gives us the opportunity to find creative ways to package sponsor benefits unique to horseracing. The announcement of the World Thoroughbred Championships brand helps bring this to life for the sponsor marketplace.Q. How will the World Thoroughbred Championships make horseracing easier to follow?A. The World Thoroughbred Championships focuses on our sport's top events -- graded stakes -- to show fans the sequence of races that horses enter in pursuit of divisional championships. Using everyday sports information like polls, point standings, statistics and series schedules, fans can follow the competition in this group of elite races.