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Napravnik signs marketing deal with Octagon

Global sports and entertainment marketing leader Octagon has announced a strategic partnership with top jockey Rosie Napravnik. Octagon will work with Kelly Wietsma of Equisponse, a leading marketing and public relations firm in Thoroughbred racing, to enhance her unique potential in the sport with Octagon's primary focus centered on corporate partnerships.

"I've been fortunate to have worked with and represented some of the greatest stars in Thoroughbred racing," Wietsma said. "I've worked with Rosie for the last two years and have watched her develop into a world class athlete. I've never seen a young jockey with so much potential, and who commanded such broad-based attention. It was important for us to align ourselves with an agency with experience marketing athletes beyond their particular sport.

"Octagon has shown its marketing creativity, and will, no doubt be a great asset in helping us maximize Rosie's marketing potential. She's the highest-ranked female rider in the history of the sport, and at 25-years-old, there are many "firsts" she could accomplish during her career."

In a predominantly male sport, Napravnnik is setting records and climbing to heights no other female jockey in the history of the sport has achieved. Currently, she is the nation's leading jockey with 72 wins, recently acquiring her 100th win at the current Fair Grounds meet. She won a total of 193 races in 2012 and broke Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone's 20-year standing record of single season earnings for a female jockey, with her mounts earning more than $12 million.

Napravnik rode Eclipse Award champion Shanghai Bobby to victory in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and became the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Oaks in its 138-year history when guiding the aptly named filly, Believe You Can. At the young age of 23, she became the first female rider to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby in 2011 and was the first woman to be crowned with the meet title at Fair Grounds that same year. She followed that unprecedented accomplishment with her second consecutive title in 2012 and is well on her way to an third title this year.

"Every now and then, an athlete emerges in a sport and exhibits the potential to do things that have never been done before," said Peter Carlisle, Octagon's Managing Director of Olympics and Action Sports. "This sort of excitement quickly transcends the particular sport, and has the potential to captivate a much larger audience. Rosie's tremendous competitive success, coupled with her unique story, amounts to a great opportunity, not only for Rosie, but potentially for the sport of horse racing as well."

A native of Mendham, New Jersey, Napravnik grew up around the barn as her mother managed a boarding and training facility. Competing ever since she was three when she began participating in Pony Club events, her older sister Jasmine led her into the faster-paced events before Napravnik climbed the ranks of racing.

A trail blazer of the sport, Napravnik began racing under the name A.R. Napravnik, in an effort to keep her female identity unknown. With aspirations since the age of seven to be the first woman to win the Triple Crown, Napravnik hopes to contend for the title in 2013. Shanghai Bobby became an early favorite for the 2013 Kentucky Derby after Napravnik rode the Eclipse Award champion to five straight victories and a second place finish in the January 26 Holy Bull Stakes. She is one of only six women to ride in the coveted Kentucky Derby and only the second woman to ride in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes.

Octagon's Olympic & Action Sports Division is a full service representation group whose clients include Alana Blanchard, Mitchie Brusco, Kelly Clark, Natalie Coughlin, Apolo Anton Ohno, Dusty Payne, Michael Phelps, Aly Raisman, Kevin Rolland, Hannah Teter, and Seth Wescott among others. For more information, visit octagonoas.com.

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