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Plans were unveiled today for a £10million marketing campaign, agreed as part of last year's Levy settlement, to be launched to promote British racing this autumn.

Sir John Robb, chairman of the Levy Board's marketing subcommittee, said the three-year campaign would aim to develop a national strategy for racing and betting.

It is designed to encourage participation among key target audiences, break down barriers to entry that discourage potential racegoers and punters from developing a greater involvement, increase attendances and turnover and to encourage customer loyalty.

The Racing and Betting Marketing Group - set up to manage the campaign - is to oversee the establishment of an interactive information centre, accessible via telephone and internet, to provide a "central gateway" into racing.

That will be supplemented by a national promotional campaign aimed at encouraging occasional racegoers and punters to increase their participation, broadening out to reach others who have not followed the sport or had a bet.

Teresa Cash, the British Horseracing Board's marketing director and one of the three-person RBMG, said that the campaign material, which consultants have been appointed to design, would be tested this summer before the autumn launch.

She added that the campaign's launch would focus on a key race meeting and that a marketing agency would soon be appointed to monitor the campaign and ensure that its objectives were being met.

Ladbrokes' Andy Walder, representing the betting industry on the RBMG, said: "We have to make it easy for people (to go racing and to bet) and break down barriers to entry and encourage irregulars to become regulars.

"The aim is to position racing as a legitimate leisure option."

Robb, also deputy chairman of the Levy Board, said: "The Levy Board is delighted to be able to provide much-needed funding for the marketing of racing and betting.

"We are particularly pleased that racing and betting have been able to come together in such a positive way and to produce such a strong and ambitious plan for the whole sport.

"With such a robust plan in place we believe that within three years horseracing will be perceived as one of the most accessible of modern-day sports or leisure activities."

The marketing campaign aims to help achieve:

:: an annual racecourse attendance of over six million by December 2003;

:: a year-on-year increase in off-course betting turnover of 1% above inflation;

:: an annual increase in sponsorship income of 20% a year.