BOSTON Cramer-Krasselt has been hired by Churchill Downs to promote the Kentucky Derby and its companion event, the Kentucky Oaks, the agency said today. C-K's New York office will handle the assignment.
This marks the first time the client has engaged a national marketing firm with a specific focus on the Derby and Oaks brands.
All told, Churchill Downs spends $3-4 million annually in measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, though much of C-K's effort will consist of PR outreach to global media.
An agency rep said: "This is a fully integrated account. Currently, we are in the development stages of the marketing/communications strategy, so exact advertising/marketing plans are to be determined."
The 135th annual Kentucky Derby, sponsored by Yum Brands, is set for May 2. The Kentucky Oaks race, also 135 years old, is run May 1.
Dave Tompkins, client svp, said: "Not only will C-K help us put in place a broader strategy to help promote horse racing's premier events and introduce them to people not already familiar with our brands, but they will help us develop a common platform through which we can enhance and grow our licensing and corporate partnerships."
C-K, based in Chicago and one of the ad industry's most active independent shops, has been on something of a new-business streak in recent months. Mohawk Flooring, Johnsonville Sausage and Rayovac batteries are among client additions of note.