International Pavilion at the Preakness Debuts May 15, 2010

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DC’s Diplomatic and International Communities to Enjoy Race Day in Unparalleled Style.

The campaign for the Pavilion is altogether different and appeals to those looking for a highly refined, unique opportunity to enjoy the races in style

On May 15, 2010 during the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes, the finest three-year-old thoroughbreds in the world will compete for the middle jewel of horse racing’s most coveted prize – the Triple Crown. That day will also see the debut of the International Pavilion at the Preakness, a concept created for the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) by Elevation, a Washington DC advertising agency.

Years ago, MJC held International Festivals and Races – at Pimlico and Laurel Race Courses – which attracted dignitaries and the social elite from DC, as well as some of the best horses in the world.

“The Preakness Stakes has never been a local event. On the contrary, it is an international event with horse racing at this level being highly regarded globally,” explained Tom Chuckas, president of the MJC. Yet, despite the Preakness’s world-class status, Maryland racing has suffered over the past several years.

“Given the magnitude of the Preakness, we wanted to find a way to reclaim the greatness for Maryland racing and renew our open-handed friendship with the International and Washington DC communities,” Chuckas recalled. “We worked with Elevation to make that happen.”

The International Pavilion will revive this history of magnificence and majesty, by bringing together horse enthusiasts, diplomats and members of the global community to celebrate in unparalleled style. Attendees will enjoy private entrance to Preakness® Village and the International Pavilion; a climate controlled luxury tent; large flat screen TVs; lounges and prime seating for viewing on the inside rail; continental breakfast; passed hors d'oeuvres; gourmet buffet; and international beers, fine wines and champagnes.

“As we evolved the concept, we saw value in having a host nation to showcase its culture, music, and food. That added depth and spark to the Pavilion concept,” explained Jim Learned, Elevation’s president and managing director.

“We approached Ambassador Jorge Dezcallar, from the Embassy of Spain, with the idea and he loved it,” said Learned. It seemed a natural fit, particularly given Spain heads up the European Union, which promotes economic and political union between member countries. The expectation is to have a different host nation for the Pavilion each year.

“We take great pride in tackling challenges holistically, looking far beyond traditional, run-of-the-mill approaches,” explained Rodolfo Hernandez, Elevation’s senior creative director. “And of course, as an agency with roots in Hispanic marketing, working with the international community is second nature to us.”

For the Preakness Stakes, Elevation developed multiple campaigns, including the Get Your Preak On campaign – a bold, hilarious and integrated effort targeting a younger demographic who attend the InfieldFest.

“The campaign for the Pavilion is altogether different and appeals to those looking for a highly refined, unique opportunity to enjoy the races in style,” said Learned. “The response has been phenomenal; with an impressive number of Ambassadors and dignitaries who have already RSVP’d and will attend.”

“The International Pavilion brings a renewed sense of grandeur, magic and respect to this great and historic event. We are delighted by the response it has received," added Chuckas.

The Preakness Stakes will be held May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.

For images and samples of the creative materials developed, go to:

Elevation Ltd. is a unique full service advertising agency based in Washington D.C., with satellite offices in NYC. Elevation opened its doors in 2002 and has earned international acclaim for its work on behalf of a distinctive blend of clients in consumer, social, political, and government arenas.


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Jim Learned
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