Yum! Sponsors Kentucky Derby

NEW YORK Churchill Downs racetrack said today that it has signed its first corporate sponsor for the historic Kentucky Derby.

Yum! Brands—parent of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants—will sponsor the 132nd running of the iconic race in Louisville, Ky., part of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

“For several years we have contemplated a major sponsorship for the Kentucky Derby but decided we would only pursue an agreement if it was with the right partner, and we have an excellent partner in Yum! Brands,” said Thomas Meeker, president and CEO of Churchill Downs, in a statement.

On race day, the Yum! logo will appear beneath the Twin Spires on a Kentucky Derby sign, above the starting gate for the race, on the jackets of the pony riders who escort the horses and jockeys during the post parade, at various places around the racetrack, and on TV billboards before and throughout the broadcast.

In addition, Yum! will receive six 30-second TV ads on NBC’s Kentucky Derby broadcast, along with two 30-second TV commercials on ESPN and ESPN2 during event coverage.

Financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed.

Yum!, based in Louisville, is the world’s largest restaurant company in number of locations with nearly 34,000 eateries in more than 100 countries and territories.

—Brandweek staff report