The Derby Is Preparing For The Future

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 30, 2008 in General Discussion, Kentucky Derby, News | No Comments >>

IMG today announced it has been selected as the worldwide sponsorship agent for the Kentucky Derby. The assignment is an expansion of the existing relationship between IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing and Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”).

Under the multi-year agreement, IMG will now develop and pursue a broad range of strategic marketing and sponsorship opportunities that offer organizations access to “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.”

The Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously running sporting event in the United States. Last year the race attracted a crowd of more than 150,000 to Churchill Downs racetrack, the historic home of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky. The race drew an 8.8 Nielsen rating on NBC. The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 2, 2009.

Tom Worcester, Senior Vice President, Business Development at IMG, will oversee sponsorship outreach from New York City. IMG will also manage a Louisville-based sales and marketing team who will work side-by-side with CDI’s internal strategic partnerships team on sponsor agreements related to the Kentucky Derby and its companion event, the Kentucky Oaks. Additionally, the CDI and IMG teams will develop sponsorship programs leveraging CDI’s many other entertainment assets including its Chicago, Miami and New Orleans racetracks, and new and existing programs in racing, gaming, music, fashion, parties and cuisine.

Worcester said, “We are delighted to expand our existing relationship with Churchill Downs Incorporated to now include sponsorship sales for the iconic Kentucky Derby. With IMG’s unrivaled local and national sales capabilities, we will pursue an array of strategic marketing and sponsorship partnerships that provide access to a truly unique and historic international sporting event with growing visibility around the world.”

“We are excited to partner with IMG as we grow our strategic partner base for the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, and sports and entertainment assets offered at our racing venues throughout the year,” said Churchill Downs’ Vice President of Sales Mike Mossholder. “At its core, the Kentucky Derby is about indulging oneself in style and unforgettable fun. It’s a fantastic mix of premium competition, risk and reward, high fashion, fine cuisine, great music and a century-old horse race that continues to capture the world’s imagination. The Derby offers strategic partners an excellent opportunity to reach a broad array of consumers, and we welcome the additional talent IMG brings to our ongoing efforts to pair prestigious brands with the Derby brand.”

IMG Consulting began working with Churchill Downs Incorporated last year on a variety of entertainment-related initiatives. IMG Licensing has been the exclusive worldwide licensing agent for Churchill Downs Incorporated (and the Kentucky Derby) since 2007.

About IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment’s diverse businesses include: product and brand licensing, consulting services, event ownership and management, collegiate marketing, media and licensing, fashion events and models representation, golf course design, and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world’s largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.

More information about IMG is available at: www.imgworld.com.

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