Ford Motor Company and Churchill Downs have agreed a multi-year partnership which will see the car brand become an official partner of both the racetrack and the 146th Kentucky Derby.

During the Kentucky Derby, Ford will provide fan engagement activities including on-site experiences, television activations, and online promotions all with the intent to highlight Ford’s products during the Derby week.

Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs Racetrack president stated: “Ford is such a big part of the Louisville community that this new partnership is a natural fit.

“Ford vehicles power so much of our operations at Churchill Downs and many of our breeders rely on Ford Super Duty trucks to transport their precious cargo.”

As the Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby official truck, non-luxury SUV, car and van partner, the American firm will provide every Kentucky Oaks and Derby horse owner with a Ford Explorer to use during the event.

Matt Van Dyke, Ford marketing director, added: “With Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant practically in the backyard of Churchill Downs, Ford’s participation in this uniquely American tradition is long overdue

“The Kentucky Derby is the longest-running sporting event in the United States, and one of the most iconic celebrations of the year.

“While our workhorse trucks naturally play a huge role supporting the many aspects of the equine and racing industries, our legendary sports car is named Mustang and our much-anticipated off-roading icon is Bronco. Ford products capture the freedom synonymous with the relationship between a winning horse and jockey.”

Finally, the company will be able host a ‘Ford Day’ during the 2020 racing season, granting Ford employees and guests free admission to a race day at Churchill Downs.

Insider Insight: Ford and the Kentucky Derby are seen as American strongholds and so the duo’s collaboration will certainly help both companies gain more exposure internationally. Ford will be able to integrate its new products into one of the world’s most famous horseraces, meanwhile Churchill Downs will undoubtedly be financially benefiting from the deal. 

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