PGA TOUR Head Keynote Speaker at Round Table

Edited release from The Jockey Club

PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem will discuss the significance of centralized structure in professional sports and the steps that golfers took to develop successful television programming, corporate sponsorships, and marketing programs when he delivers the keynote address at The Jockey Club Round Table Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Finchem is credited with expanding earnings opportunities for PGA TOUR players both domestically and internationally, and was instrumental in the formation of the International Federation of PGA Tours and the World Golf Foundation. He joined the PGA TOUR staff as vice president of business affairs in 1987, and two years later became deputy commissioner and chief operating officer under Deane Beman. He succeeded Beman in June of 1994.

Finchem will follow National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith, who will discuss how the structure of a league office has enabled the NTRA to make progress in several important areas and how it can help the NTRA maximize additional marketing opportunities in the future.

The Round Table will include release of the final report and recommendations of the NTRA Wagering Systems Task Force, including a comprehensive review of wagering data pertaining to issues that have led to an increase in handle but decline in purses. NTRA deputy commissioner Greg Avioli will make the presentation, while an international perspective will be provided by Maurits Bruggink, who in June was named executive director of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities and charged with developing an action plan to combat the growing worldwide problem of illegal wagering on horseracing.

During the first half of the program, William Hawks, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs for the United States Department of Agriculture, will discuss the proposed National Animal Identification System, which is intended to protect the livestock industry, including horses, in case of epidemic disease outbreaks or bioterrorism. Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club and co-chairman of an industry task force, will provide the industry's perspective on the legislation.

In other business, Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. will provide an NTRA update; John Ward Jr., president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, will discuss the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium; and William Farish Jr. will update the work of the NTRA Political Action Committee. Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps will make opening remarks, and Jockey Club president Alan Marzelli will provide an update on Jockey Club activities.

The Round Table will be held at the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center.