05/31/2011 5:04PM

Jockey Club boosting NTRA's public relations efforts


The Jockey Club is funding the hiring of two new public-relations officials at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the relocation of the NTRA's employees to the Jockey Club's office in New York City, according to the NTRA.

The funding is being provided to help the NTRA in its efforts to stimulate coverage of racing in mainstream media outlets, according to Eric Wing, a spokesman for the NTRA. Already, the NTRA has hired Stephen Panus, a sports and marketing consultant, as its new vice president of communications. Panus will start on June 6, Wing said.

Wing said Panus will be in charge of promoting racing stories year-round to media outlets outside of the racing press. The NTRA already conducts efforts to publicize racing, but those efforts are typically focused on traditional racing outlets or surround major racing events like the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup.

The NTRA is also searching for a second public-relations official to work with Panus, Wing said. Wing would not disclose the amount of money being provided by the Jockey Club, but said that it would go toward the salaries for the two new employees and the funding for the office space.

The NTRA, which is headquartered in Lexington, Ky., currently has two employees at offices in Westchester, New York: Wing and Joan Lawrence, the senior manager of communications. Wing, Lawrence, and Panus will now work out of the Jockey Club offices, along with the public-relations employee the NTRA hires in the future.