Matt Blaty Named Director of National Media Relations

GLENDORA, Calif. -- Matt Blaty has been named director of national media relations for the National Hot Rod Association, NHRA President Dallas Gardner has announced. Blaty, 37, joins the NHRA with more than 15 years of ...

GLENDORA, Calif. -- Matt Blaty has been named director of national media relations for the National Hot Rod Association, NHRA President Dallas Gardner has announced. Blaty, 37, joins the NHRA with more than 15 years of media relations experience, primarily working for the Disney Corporation. As a senior publicist in the Marketing Division for the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., Blaty was responsible for managing and coordinating the overall production for dozens of Disneyland media events. Blaty will be responsible for overseeing NHRA’s media department, which includes developing and maintaining relationships with print and broadcast journalists, implementing new story lines, and directing the advance, as well as on-site media relations services for all NHRA national events. The hiring is another move in a series of integrated communications and marketing initiatives to be undertaken by the NHRA as part of a new, aggressive three-year plan to maximize the marketability, sponsorship value and growth of drag racing leading up to and beyond NHRA’s 50th Anniversary season in 2001. “In conducting a national search to find the right individual to guide our national event media relations we were able to talk to a number of good candidates,” Gardner said. “Matt’s unique media experience with the Disney group plus the foundation acquired as a Disney employee make him an ideal fit. He’s equipped with the skills, experience and leadership to direct this all important function into the future.” During his distinguished career at the Disneyland Resort, Blaty hosted thousands of worldwide media entities at a variety of Disney special events. Those included the opening of new attractions, premiers of new shows and parades, and the popular, ‘I’m going to Disneyland!’ quote from numerous sports MVPs. Blaty spent seven years as a media coordinator for the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic where he managed press box operations and organized media attendance at the game. He also coordinated all pre-game press conferences and press box set-up. “I’m thrilled to become part of a national sports organization whose growing popularity is limitless,” Blaty said. “I look forward to working with the talented NHRA team and getting the opportunity to help take NHRA Winston Drag Racing to new levels of success.” Blaty, a resident of Hacienda Heights, Calif., received a bachelor of arts in Mass Communications from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1984. He and his wife, Michelle, have a daughter, Madysen, 4 months. Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 22 national events through its NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. The NHRA boasts 85,000 members nationwide and 142 member tracks. Throughout the NHRA season, nearly 45,000 licensed competitors compete in almost 5,000 member-track events. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series’ provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, Sears Craftsman E.T. Racing Series and the Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing Series for youths ages 8 to 16.

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Series Automotive , NHRA