Edelman hopes to extend OTB contract

NEW YORK: Edelman confirmed it has been working with the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation (OTB) and hopes to extend its contract, which is focused on changing public perception of the troubled corporation.

NEW YORK: Edelman confirmed it has been working with the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation (OTB) and hopes to extend its contract, which is focused on changing public perception of the troubled corporation.

The Edelman team, headed by SVP and head of New York public affairs David Vermillion, was one of several consulting firms brought in to turn the horserace betting organisation's fortunes around in the wake of its Chapter 9 bankruptcy reorganization last year.

The agency signed a two-year contract with OTB last November, which incorporated a get-out clause. According to invoices released at a public board meeting on Wednesday (7/7), Edelman was paid $472,625 from November 2009 through May 2010. Vermillion confirmed the agency charged OTB a rate of $300 per hour.

Since it began working with OTB, Vermillion and his team of 20 have been working to refocus the organization as an economically viable asset to the community that would appeal to multiple audiences.

He said: “This is a complex account that required communications on multiple levels. We have communicated with employees about what Chapter 9 bankruptcy meant for the company in terms of restructuring while, on an external level and with stakeholders, we have reinforced the importance of the OTB as an economic endgame and challenged people's assumptions.”

Vermillion believes Edelman has made significant headway in its efforts and is keen to extend the contract, but has yet to speak with OTB's new CEO, Greg Rayburn, who was appointed this week. Vermillion said: “We love being involved in anything that plays a part in the community and we have found this to be a very exciting and multidimensional client.”

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