Brown-Forman's Woodford Reserve becomes main sponsor of Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs Inc. announced the agreement on Wednesday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Woodford Reserve, the premium bourbon brand of Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp., is the new "presenting sponsor" of the Kentucky Derby through 2022.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced the agreement on Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Kentucky Derby is a legendary horse race with a premier sports experience and we believe putting together two of Kentucky’s finest -- Woodford Reserve and the Kentucky Derby -- is a natural fit," Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga said in a news release.
Louisville-based Yum! Brands Inc. became the Derby's first presenting sponsor in 2006, a title it held through the 143rd running of the race in May.
In the news release, Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed said the company is shifting its marketing focus from parent-company awareness to its fast-food brands -- KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
"The initial focus of our sponsorship in 2006 was to leverage the Kentucky Derby's global TV audience to build awareness with individual investors who knew our well-known restaurant brands but not Yum!" Creed said.
Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said: "The creation of a presenting sponsor was an important step in the ongoing growth of the Kentucky Derby, and we deeply appreciate the support of Yum! Brands for more than a decade in that groundbreaking role."
The 144th Derby is on Saturday, May 5, 2018, at Churchill Downs.
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