|Friday, April 20, 2007
|Contact: Jim Gluckson
|Avioli named Breeders' Cup President
The Board of Directors of Breeders' Cup Limited named Gregory C. Avioli as the organization's President and Chief Executive Officer at its meeting today in Lexington, Ky. Avioli, 42, had been serving as the interim President and CEO since June of last year.
Avioli's appointment follows an extensive six-month search conducted by a committee of the Breeders' Cup Board and the international executive search firm SpencerStuart.
“Since his appointment last June, Greg has done an excellent job running our operation and positioning the Breeders' Cup for growth. He has the overwhelming support of the Board,” said Breeders' Cup Chairman Bill Farish. “The Board shares his vision for the future development of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the Breeders' Cup brand. We are pleased to announce his appointment effective immediately.”
“This is an exciting time for the Breeders' Cup,” said Avioli. “We will continue to focus on growing the international market for our championships, creating a successful two-day event and promoting the Breeders' Cup brand with both our television and sponsorship partners. I look forward to fulfilling the Breeders' Cup Board members' collective vision for the property.”
In his nine months as interim President and CEO, Avioli implemented a substantial restructuring of the organization under the direction of the Breeders' Cup Board, and managed Breeders' Cup through a series of milestones and innovations, including:
The 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs, the most financially successful renewal in the event's 23-year in history with a record total handle of over $140 million;
Development of the Breeders' Cup Challenge, a series of 24 automatic qualifying races for the Breeders' Cup World Championships in partnership with six leading racetracks to be televised on ABC/ESPN;
Expansion of the Breeders' Cup World Championships to two-day format with three new $1 million Breeders' Cup races to debut in 2007.
New emphasis on international outreach, including a marketing alliance with the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Prior to being named interim President and CEO, Avioli served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association from 2001-2006. He was the NTRA's General Counsel and VP Business Affairs from 1998-2000. After graduating from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1989, Avioli joined the law firm Long, Aldridge and Norman in Atlanta. In 1994, he joined the sports marketing firm International Sports and Entertainment Strategies.
Breeders' Cup Limited administers the Breeders' Cup World Championships; Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of 11 races and $23 million in purses. The organization also administers the Breeders' Cup Challenge qualifying series, and the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program. Breeders' Cup Ltd. is located in Lexington, Ky. Breeders' Cup press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, breederscup.com.