NTRA Promotes "Seabiscuit" to Bring New Fans to Horse Racing

The release of Universal Pictures' movie Seabiscuit, scheduled for July 25, gives NTRA and its members a unique opportunity to bring horse racing to a new generation of fans and turn moviegoers into racegoers.

NTRA has been working with Universal Pictures since last year on programs and promotions to capitalize on the movie. The campaign began with this year's Eclipse Awards ceremony, where Seabiscuit stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, Gary Stevens and Chris McCarron were award presenters. We are now coordinating a series of consumer promotions in local markets with our member racetracks and horsemen, including:

  • A three-minute film promoting the history, tradition and enjoyment of Thoroughbred racing that will run from July 25-August 21 on as many as 5,500 movie screens in 525 theatres, with viewership estimated at 20 million. In select areas, it will also include a promotional message from the racetrack in the local market;
  • Promotional messages in theatres, notifying moviegoers that their ticket stubs may be redeemed for free admission or another offer at their local racetrack;
  • Officially licensed Seabiscuit merchandise, produced by Roots Canada and featuring the Seabiscuit movie logo, NTRA mark and a track/horsemen's association logo. The merchandise will be available in late June, with online sales flowing through the NTRA Web site, exposing thousands of movie fans to horseracing - many for the first time;
  • A national contest for consumers to win tickets to the world premiere of Seabiscuit in Los Angeles. Consumers can enter the sweepstakes on-track or online at NTRA.com and other NTRA member Web sites;
  • A Seabiscuit-themed Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion on August 2. Mystery Mutuel Vouchers, each worth at least $2, produce double-digit increases in on-track attendance and pari-mutuel handle when redeemed for cash at NTRA member facilities;
  • In-show features on NTRA programming, produced by NTRA Productions and offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Seabiscuit. A documentary on the making of Seabiscuit also will air during June and July on the ESPN Classics Network and be supported by more than 200 promotional messages on the ESPN family of networks; and
  • Release of the Seabiscuit DVD to coincide with the 20th running of the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park.

With Seabiscuit already being mentioned for Oscar consideration, we hope to have many months' worth of promotional tie-ins ahead of us, with additional marketing programs to follow in 2004 that will build on the growing fan interest in our sport.

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