There is some good news for lovers of tradition. A sign promoting Yum! Brands, the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will be less prominent in its placement than originally planned in the area near Churchill Downs' famed Twin Spires.
The sign was scheduled to be placed between the spires near the bottom of the grandstand roof. It would have been attached to the placard that shows the time span in which the Derby has been run (1875 through the present). The new plan calls for no Yum! Brands sign on the roof. Instead, there will be signage identifying the sponsor on the railing in front of the top floor of box seats.
"Some people publicly expressed a little concern about it, and we just chatted with them (Yum! officials) as a good corporate partner," said John Asher, Churchill's vice president for racing communications. "There wasn't big, huge public outcry (against the sign), but we did look at other options. I think it was more a matter of misinformation. People kept saying, 'I hear you're going to string a banner between the Twin Spires.' That was never, ever the plan."