A few racetracks have adopted recommendations made last year by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Players' Panel, but NTRA officials and panel members said Sept. 28 the response generally has been sparse if not disappointing.
Horse racing might be better served by shifting its focus from advertising to public relations to better develop a product consumers will want, a marketing strategy specialist said during the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Annual Meeting and Marketing Summit in Las Vegas.
Horse racing continues to gain ground in popularity and measures up very well compared with other major league sports, according to the latest information from the ESPN Sports Poll.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup are well under way in mapping out a long-range strategy that apparently will bring changes in programs and goals as they seek a larger share of the entertainment, sports, and gambling marketplaces.
Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm, will be the keynote speaker at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Annual Meeting and Marketing Summit Sept. 26-28 at The Mirage casino in Las Vegas.
The NTRA Players Panel is fashioning position papers on several issues that impact horse racing and wagering, including the integrity of pools, rebating, pari-mutuel takeout, withholding taxes, and customer service.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is expected to soon announce the hiring of Mike Schafer, a marketing executive with Procter & Gamble, as special assistant to the commissioner.