New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Issues Public Relations RFP

New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Issues Public Relations RFP

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the “Fund”), a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965) has issued an RFP for a PR agency to provide equine marketing and public relation services.

The New York Sire Stakes was the first program of its kind developed in North America and later became the model for state-bred racing programs in nearly all of the major harness racing states and provinces on the continent. Sponsored by NYS harness racing industry organizations, the first NYSS events were held in 1961. The official New York Sire Stakes program was inaugurated in 1965 when the state’s harness tracks and breeding industry leaders who sought to spur the breeding industry successfully lobbied the State Legislature for support of their endeavor.

The New York horse racing industry came together once again in 2001 to advance the sport of harness racing in the state through the addition of video lottery terminals at each race track. With harness racing’s late Bruce Hamilton leading the way, the industry again ran a successful campaign and the NYS legislature amended the pari- mutuel law, allowing video lottery terminals at the state’s harness racetracks.

The first racino opened at Saratoga Raceway in 2004, paving the way for racinos at the remaining six harness race tracks statewide. The mission of the Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund and the New York Sire Stakes is to promote agriculture through the breeding of horses. To that end, the Fund directs the state’s premier harness racing program designed to stimulate the breeding, buying and racing of Standardbred horses in New York State. The New York Sire Stakes is the nation’s oldest harness racing program of its kind.  We believe that these goals can best be accomplished by supporting educational programs, equine research and supplementation of racing purses at NYS pari-mutuel tracks, County Fairs and the Goshen Historic Track.


Each year, the Contractor will be required to develop an advertising and promotional plan (the “Plan”), which will define the advertising and promotional activities to be carried out that year.

Major events includes:

  1. County Fair Racing Series (20 – 22 fair event days) and the Series Final to be held in the fall.
  2. Sire Stakes Racing Series Final to be held in the fall, which will include the Night of Champions Reception.
  3. Excelsior Racing Series Final to be held in the fall.
  4. Annual Horse Sales:
    • Goshen, NY (1 day event – date pending)
    • Morrisville, NY (1 day event – date pending)
  5. Annual Awards Banquet & Night of Champions Event
  6. “New Owner” Seminar

The Fund believes that an online ad campaign developed to promote New York Bred horses  and  their  triumphs  should  be  an  integral  part  of  the  Plan  that  will  be developed. The ads should focus on NY Standardbred horses and their successes on the track and in the breeding sheds at state, national and international levels.

The Plan must also include the following elements of the Scope of Work to be executed throughout the contract term:

Market  Research/Strategic  Account  Planning/Advertising

Communication Tracking:

  1. Contractor shall use all research, analytical tools and data at its disposal to develop the most creative and effective marketing plans to achieve stated objectives.
  2. Contractor shall propose, conduct and analyze market research to gain insights to inform strategic direction for the account.

Promotion & Event Management:

Contractor will be responsible for development and management of all promotional activities related to the major events identified  (race series horse sales, banquets and seminars) as well as additional events agreed to by the Fund and Contractor throughout the racing season.

Responsibilities include: planning, staffing, advertising, and purchase and distribution of promotional items.

Creative development,   production  and  distribution  of  all   advertising, marketing communications, and promotional materials:

  1. The annual plan shall identify the marketing efforts for each event in the plan, such as media placements (print, radio, tv, digital, social, etc.) and all associated costs. The Contractor shall be responsible for the placement and purchase of all media and will be responsible for auditing and verifying all media placements.
  2. Create advertisements for trade publications and other appropriate outlets, including local radio and television.  If producing TV, Radio, or print ads, provide the Fund with production schedules.
  3. Create and order New York Sire Stakes promotional items.  Contractor will be responsible for designing promotional giveaways and interactive activities in support of the Fund’s initiatives, subject to Fund approval under the Plan.
  4. Produce a New York Sire Stakes calendar for 3500 classrooms in New York State that includes information on the Sire Stakes, Excelsior and County Fair Racing Series.
  5. Develop annual Stallion Directory for NYSS Eligible Stallions.  The NYSS Stallion Directory promotes NYSS-eligible Stallions to mare owners for the purpose of breeding in New York.  This project requires development of a Directory annually, beginning with 2018-eligible stallions with stallion registrations beginning 11/15/2017 through 1/1/2018.  This project includes promoting the Directory to stallion owners; collecting stallion pedigrees and photos for stallions that are standing for service in New York State; collecting fees  from  those  advertising  in  the  Directory  to  offset  the  printing  and distribution costs, with any excess funds received remitted back to the Fund.

Digital Marketing & Advertising and Social Media Management:

  1. Create digital marketing campaigns to effectively communicate with target audiences through all digital touch points.
  2. Strategic  development,  content  &  creative  development,  community management, optimization and performance analysis through monthly reporting.

Fund Website: Creative Development & Content Management:

The Contractor will provide creative input into the design and content of the NYSS website.  Contractor will also manage the NYSS website and update information  with  guidance  from  the  Fund.  The  Fund  will  provide  access  to their web content management system for required updates. The responsibilities of the Contractor include, but are not limited to: posting articles relevant to the NYSS program (daily during NYSS season); posting forms and related materials; posting all reports, notices and financial documents when received from the Fund;  posting  champion  results  and  replays;  posting  all  audio  and  written minutes from the NYSS meetings, as provided by the Fund.

Proposal due by March 3, 2017 to:

Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund
One Broadway Center, Suite 602
Schenectady, NY 12301-7500

Major New York PR firms include DKC PR, Hunter PR and Rubenstein Communications.

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