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How Ford And Kentucky Derby Have Partnered To Race Together

How Ford And Kentucky Derby Have Partnered To Race Together

With the Kentucky Derby being one of the biggest horse racing events in the world with millions of people watching the race, it attracts the eye of many brands across the world that are trying to use this event for marketing purposes.

But unlike many other big sporting events like the Super Bowl or the Champions League finals, where there are plenty of ads that are mostly forgotten the next year, the partnerships with the Kentucky Derby are different.

Brands are not just seeking the number of people seeing the ad, but they also want a piece of the Kentucky Derby tradition and prestige. When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, they’ve always partnered with luxurious brands like Rolex, G.H. Mumm, and others, that are targeting high-class individuals.

To the surprise of most people, the organizers at Churchill Downs made a partnership with not-so-luxurious car brand Ford. But it all makes sense.

When we talk about Ford, what’s the first car that comes to mind? Probably a Ford F-150. Did you know that if you par every Ford F-150 pickup truck ever made since 1948, the line would stretch around the equator, more than TWICE!

And this is the car that reminds us of horse racing, since it is a commonly used vehicle by horse owners, making it perfect for the Kentucky Derby.

Horse racing is all about brand association, making events like the Kentucky Derby feel extra special for the spectators. So, with the race being the most important thing, you should focus on creating the best experience and possibly making some Triple Crown bets. You can find how to bet the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby here.

However, don’t miss out on all the special events that are lined up before and after the event, which are mainly organized by these sponsors.

Let’s talk more about this partnership and find out what can we expect from Ford and the Kentucky Derby.

About the Kentucky Derby – Ford Partnership

In 2020, Ford Motor Company and Churchill Downs announced the start of an extended collaboration that would see Ford take over the role of the renowned racetrack and the Kentucky Derby’s proud sponsor. This deal is going to last until 2025, with a possible extension as an option.

Ford Products and Derby Victors both embody the power, history, and strength that make each company proudly American.

Ford’s former CEO Matt Van Dyke noted that the Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant, which are located not far from Churchill Downs, are celebrating a major milestone by participating in the Kentucky Derby. 

Preparing for the 150th Running of the Kentucky Deby

With Ford being an official sponsor of the venerable Kentucky Derby for many years now, we should expect a lot of great things lined up for this year’s 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby. This partnership actually makes sense considering that the carmaker owns two assembly plants in the state and is now building a third. 

But Ford’s Garage, a quickly growing restaurant business that holds an official license from The Blue Oval, has also historically supported the Kentucky Derby by organizing official viewing parties for the most well-known horse race in history. Ford’s Garage will once more serve as the official Kentucky Derby watch spot in 2024, carrying on the tradition.

The Ford’s Garage has been designated as an official viewing venue for 10 Days of Derby, the Kentucky Derby countdown, for the second year running. In an alliance with Churchill Downs Racetrack, Ford Motor Company, the Kentucky Derby, and the restaurant chain, all 24 sites will screen the main event along with qualifying races and special festivities. 

A selection of well-known cocktails, like the Woodford Spire and Mint Julep, that have long been favored by Kentucky Derby enthusiasts will also be served at Ford’s Garage locations, and 150 memento glasses will be given out to MotorClub members and sold in restricted amounts at selected locations. 

In addition to new items like Ford’s Hot Brown sandwich, a take on the classic sandwich that was originally served in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, there will be commemorative shirts and caps for sale.

What to Expect

Apart from this incredible location that shares the history of the Ford Motor Company, where you can witness some of their most special vehicles throughout the years, we expect some promotional events before and after the race.

They have a lot of things going on at the factory and the Kentucky Derby will be the perfect opportunity to spread the word about their upcoming vehicles. Just a few weeks ago, Ford’s CEO announced 3 new truck models for 2024 and 2025, such as the Ford Explorer and the ultimate F450 Platinum.

We expect to see these vehicles also at Churchill Downs grounds, as well as their most sold vehicle the F-150 with a slight redesign.

This partnership has been proven to work over the last couple of years, and since both of the companies have a long history in Kentucky, it would be surprising if we don’t see a new agreement after 2025.

One thing is for sure, this year’s 150th running of the Kentucky Derby is going to be special in every aspect. And the organizers as well as the main sponsors of this event already know the magnitude of this year’s event, and they will push their efforts into making it even more special for the spectators.