09/25/2003 11:00PM

NTRA hires marketing specialist


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has hired an interim "special assistant to the commissioner" to assist the organization in developing its marketing plans, the NTRA announced Friday.

The special assistant, Mike Schafer, was formerly the marketing director for the coffee division of Proctor and Gamble. In his position at the NTRA, Schafer will make recommendations about the association's existing marketing programs.

The NTRA, conducting its third-quarter board meeting at Santa Anita Park, also formally approved the creation of a position for a national security officer and agreed that the position would be funded from the NTRA's budget.

The creation of the position came out of recommendations from two consulting companies working for the NTRA, Giuliani Partners and Ernst and Young, and the NTRA's Wagering Technology Working Group, in order to address concerns arising out of last year's Breeders' Cup pick-six scandal. The security officer will likely be charged with setting minimum standards for wagering outlets and tote companies and ensuring compliance with the standards.