Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and the Longines Kentucky Oaks (both G1), today announced a five-year partnership with local bottler Coca-Cola Consolidated. The partnership makes Coca-Cola the official and exclusive soft drink partner of the Kentucky Derby.
"Churchill Downs and Coca-Cola are two American icons so the partnership is an especially strong fit," said Kristin Warfield, Vice President of Partnerships at Churchill Downs Racetrack. "The hundreds of thousands of racing fans who come from all over the world to experience Churchill Downs' world class horseracing and the Kentucky Derby will now be able to enjoy a broad range of Coca-Cola products and experiences."
"Churchill Downs is one of the most iconic sports venues in the world," said Heather Hucks, Sr. Director, Brand Marketing at Coca-Cola Consolidated. "We are delighted to bring racing fans a variety of leading beverage choices throughout the year and at the Kentucky Derby. As the local bottler, we are committed to the Louisville community and are excited to grow this partnership - both on the track and off."
The deal includes sponsorships, in-kind products, and direct promotional and marketing support of a variety of Coca-Cola products, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Life, Sprite, POWERADE and Dasani.
In addition to refreshing Churchill Downs racing fans, Coca-Cola Consolidated will support community initiatives and fundraising events that take place during Derby week. Coca-Cola Consolidated will also bring exciting new offerings to fans at the races through experiential activations such as virtual reality experiences and customized race day bottles.
Coca-Cola Consolidated took over Coca-Cola operations in the Louisville region in February 2015, which was previously serviced by Coca-Cola Refreshments. Later that year, Coca-Cola Consolidated celebrated the grand opening of a brand new 305,000 sq. ft. sales and distribution center. The company invested more than $12 million in the state-of-the-art facility, which employs more than 350 people and distributes Coca-Cola products to 21 counties in the Kentucky region.