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Gidel/Lombardo Sports Communication Series to Host Panel Discussion at UK

By Blair Hoover

(Sept. 10, 2015) — A panel of specialists will discuss both journalism and event marketing aspects of Thoroughbred horse racing for the 2015 Gidel/Lombardo Sports Communication Series.  The panel discussion is free and open to the public.  The discussion will be held in the W.T. Young Library Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15. 

Jim Mulvihill, director of media and industry relations at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, will serve as moderator.  The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is an industry coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests.  Mulvihill is also president of the Turf Publicists of America. He has held a variety of public relations and communications positions within and outside of racing, including heading the press offices at Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. He is a graduate of Emerson College and an alumnus of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program.

Panelists for the discussion are:

Kip Cornett, founder and current president and CEO of strategic communication agency Team Cornett and current chair of the Breeders’ Cup Festival Week Host Committee.  The agency’s clients include Keeneland, Valvoline and the University of Kentucky. Cornett is a 1977 graduate of the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

Amanda Duckworth, North American editor of Gallop Magazine, a communications consultant for the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, and a horse racing columnist for Duckworth also writes for outlets such as the New York Times, Thoroughbred Daily News, Blood-Horse, and the Associated Press, among others. She graduated with honors from the UK College of Communication and Information in 2006 with a degree in journalism.

Tom Hammond, a 1967 graduate of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  Hammond is synonymous with Thoroughbred racing in the Bluegrass and across the globe. In his more than 30-year history with NBC Sports, Hammond has covered figure skating, college and professional football and basketball, track and field, swimming and diving and gymnastics in addition to horse racing.

Christa Marrillia, director of marketing for Keeneland Race Course, a position she has held since 2010. Marrillia oversees the advertising and marketing efforts for all facets of Keeneland’s business lines including racing, sales, special events, gift shop and Keeneland’s online wagering platform, Keeneland Select.  Marrillia and her team also manage the track’s website and robust social media efforts.  Marrillia is a graduate of the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics.

The Gidel/Lombardo Sports Communication Series is made possible through a gift to the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications from the Gidel and Lombardo families.