Breeders’ Cup in conjunction with The Jockey Club announced Thursday a new national advertising campaign called ‘Still. Running. Strong.’ to promote Thoroughbred racing as spectator-free racing resumes in various markets around the country during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
KTA and TOBA issued the following joint statement late Thursday evening.
“KTA and TOBA have made contributions to support to a newly created national advertising campaign titled “Still. Running. Strong.” The campaign was announced [Thursday] by The Jockey Club and Breeders’ Cup Limited. As representatives of Thoroughbred owners and breeders in Kentucky and across the United States, KTA and TOBA believe this is a unique opportunity for our sport to attract new viewers during a period when racing will be one of the few live sporting events being conducted during the COVID-19 health crisis. On behalf of our respective organizations, we are honored to support this important industry initiative.
TOBA’s mission is to improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. During these unprecedented and difficult times, owners’ purse accounts have been negatively impacted due to the shutdown of most of the nation’s racetracks for the past three months. Purse money is the lifeblood for Thoroughbred owners, who have continued to pay training expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. We are grateful for racetracks being able to re-open without spectators before most other sports but the damage has been done and additional measures need to be taken to drive wagering and help replenish purse accounts while promoting the sport. TOBA strongly believes a pro-active national marketing approach is the first step to address our challenges and our investment in the national ad campaign “Still. Running. Strong.” is our commitment to our membership, racehorse owners across the country and the sport. We share many of the same principles and values as the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and plan to actively seek opportunities to work together on this and other economic and integrity issues on behalf of our constituents, owners and breeders.”
– Dan Metzger, President of TOBA
“One month ago, KTA chair Braxton Lynch contacted Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Breeders’ Cup Ltd. to explore ways to best capitalize Kentucky racing during the current national emergency. Kentucky racing is fortunately back after a temporary suspension thanks to the leadership of Gov. Beshear, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and Churchill Downs, however, track attendance and Historical Racing remain closed, both being important generators to the purse account. We are living in a period of major disruption due to Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and must ensure minimal economic disruption for the Kentucky racing circuit, our purse accounts, and major events such as the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup. We believe the national ad campaign devised by The Jockey Club and Breeders’ Cup encourages more net wagering via Advanced-Deposit Wagering sites in media sources not traditionally exploited by racing, which in turn grows our bottom line. The Kentucky racing circuit has attracted leading owners, the finest horsemen and women, and top horses to compete for great prize money. We know increasing our purse account is inextricably linked to increasing the value of all KY-breds worldwide and in turn adds value to our sales. Ensuring returns to owners via purses is vital during the current downturn, acts as the best stimulus for our sport, and our officers believed this to be an important investment. TOBA and KTA share this principle.”
– Chauncey Morris, Executive Director of KTA