A recent agreement with IEAH Stables and jockey Kent Desormeaux has UPS serving as the exclusive marketing partner for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Big Brown, the delivery company announced in a May 9 press release.
The agreement was struck shortly after the running of the May 3 Kentucky Derby, in which Big Brown cruised to a convincing victory. UPS began its association with the son of Boundary during the 134th Run for the Roses by sponsoring his jockey, Desormeaux, in his quest to become a three-time Derby winner.
The relationship was particularly fitting due to the story behind the horse’s name, when co-owner Paul Pompa Jr., owner of Truck-Rite Corp. in Brooklyn, N.Y., celebrated the renewal of a contract with UPS Freight in 2007 by naming his newly-purchased Thoroughbred Big Brown.
Desormeaux wore the UPS patch on his riding pants and donned a UPS cap in the Derby winner’s circle following the Derby win for trainer Rick Dutrow.
“This is such a thrilling time for our entire ownership team, and we are extremely honored to have a company like UPS along for the ride,” said Michael Iavarone, co-president and CEO of International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, which owns IEAH Stables. “Having a Kentucky Derby winning-horse is a dream come true. Competing for a Triple Crown title is the thrill of a lifetime, and we’ll be supporting ‘Brown’ all the way.”
UPS became the official delivery company of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association in 2006 and has created cross promotions with its NASCAR sponsorship, such as the “Off to the Races Delivered by UPS” program. The sponsorship of Desormeaux and the Big Brown ownership team is an extension of the company’s horse racing sponsorships.
“The Big Brown story is a compelling one that has resonated across UPS with our more than 425,000 employees worldwide,” said Ron Rogowski, UPS’s director of sponsorship. “We’ve enjoyed some tremendous associations through our sponsorship platforms and to be able to be linked to a Kentucky Derby champion is an honor for our company and our employees. We look forward to supporting Big Brown in his Triple Crown quest.”
Big Brown remains undefeated, having won all four of his races by a combined total of more than 33 lengths. His next start comes in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the second jewel in Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.