April 17, 2002
EQUIBASE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE NAMES ERTMANN PRESIDENT/COO
Contact: Bob Curran, Jr. (859-224-2717)
The Management Committee of Equibase Company LLC announced today that John C. Ertmann, an attorney who has previously served in executive capacities for NBC Sports and Major League Soccer, has been named president and chief operating officer of the Lexington, Ky.-based company.
"The Equibase team has done a phenomenal job of building a successful franchise over the course of the past 11 years," said Alan Marzelli, Chairman of the Management Committee. "In that time, we have firmly established Equibase as both the Thoroughbred racing industry’s Official source of racing information and a brand that consumers of racing products around the world have come to know and trust. But we’re now at the point where we need a full-time executive presence in order to maximize the future value of the business."
Ertmann will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Equibase, a role that Marzelli has filled on a part-time basis since 1996. Marzelli will remain as Chairman of the Management Committee.
Chris Scherf, the executive vice president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) and secretary of Equibase, said, "Equibase is one of the industry’s most important assets and provides the TRA with the assurance that the information that is so critical to the sport will always be managed by the industry itself.
"We are pleased to be able to attract a seasoned business executive like John Ertmann and we are confident that, under his leadership, Equibase will continue to meet the varied needs of the industry."
Ertmann, a native of Chicago, received a B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.
After spending approximately five years with two Wall Street law firms, he was named associate legal counsel for the New York Yankees in 1987 and then vice president and legal counsel a short time later.
Three years later, he joined NBC, where he served in a variety of roles, including vice president of negotiations for NBC Sports. In those roles, he structured, negotiated and managed numerous programming agreements and hired a number of on-air personalities.
In 1997, after eight years at NBC, he was named executive vice president of business affairs and chief legal officer for Major League Soccer, where he negotiated the league’s marketing agreements and oversaw its broadcasting and legal departments.
Equibase Company LLC is a partnership of The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America (TRA) and serves as the Thoroughbred industry's Official database for racing information and statistics. Through its web site, www.equibase.com, the company offers an ever-increasing menu of racing information and handicapping products for handicappers of all skill levels, including Virtual Stable™ which provides near real-time delivery of entry, result and workout information for horses which fans want to track.