The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wedcnesday the appointment of Host Communications as the NTRA's sponsorship sales agency. Host Communications, known for its long-time marketing representation of the NCAA and its men's and women's Final Four, is a sports, events, lifestyle and affinity marketing and management company. Over the past 25 years, Host Communications has secured numerous quality sponsors and corporate partners for its collegiate, high school, grassroots and association properties.A full-time NTRA account executive will be named by Host Communications to head up its national sales efforts and will be based in Lexington, Ky. The NTRA in-house team will be led by Bryan Pettigrew, who has been promoted from Special Assistant to the Commissioner to Vice President-Sponsorships, effective immediately."We're very pleased with our new relationship with Host Communications and optimistic about recruiting additional sponsors," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "Thanks to our new coordinated sales approach with the Breeders' Cup, we have the possibility for the first time of anchoring sponsorship and media packages with Championship Day races. The initial response from the marketplace is very encouraging and the involvement of Host Communications will help us maximize these opportunities.""We're genuinely excited about the future of NTRA horseracing as a
sponsorship and media property," said Host Communications' Chief Executive Officer W. James Host. "With the rich asset base of the NTRA and overall growth of the sport, the value to selected corporate partners is as strong as any sponsorship opportunity we've seen. We're honored to have been selected."The NTRA and CBS Sports recently announced creation of a summer racing
series for older horses on the dirt, along with a separate turf series,
beginning in June of next year. NBC, in 2001, will own broadcast rights to both the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup. NTRA Productions continues to increase the amount of horseracing coverage on national television through its association with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic and ESPN.com.On Friday, Host will speak at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's Symposium on Racing in Tucson, Ariz., where he will
discuss Host Communications' outlook on the sports sponsorship landscape and analyze racing's opportunities within that landscape."Our industry has an impressive television schedule in 2001, culminating
with the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park," said Pettigrew. "We present an
outstanding value to corporate marketing partners and the opportunities for sponsors have never been better."Founded by Host and now a division of Bull Run Corp., Host Communications is a leading national sports marketing and management company. Sports Business Journal recently named the company one of the top five sports marketing companies in the world. Host is a member of the Keeneland Association board of directors.