Woodford Reserve announces extended partnership with Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Wednesday, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon and Churchill Downs announced it has extended its partnership as the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby.
The partnership began in 1999 as Woodford Reserve was named the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby,” according to a release. The company became the presenting sponsor in 2018.
Woodford Reserve said the extension will run through 2027.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Woodford Reserve as the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby for the next five years,” Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc. said in a release. “We are pleased to build upon this partnership between two global entities that represent the unique culture and unbridled spirit of Kentucky. Brown-Forman’s brand offerings are the ideal complement to the heritage of this time-honored tradition.”
The sponsorship was originally commemorated by laying down oak at the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle at Churchill Downs. The oak will be used in a barrel for very rare bourbon that will celebrate the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2024, the release states.
“We are excited for the next five years, and we are honored to continue our partnership with Churchill Downs by creating this very special bottle for Derby 150,” Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris said. “On the first Saturday in May, no matter where in the world we are, we are all Kentuckians.”
Brown-Forman, owners of the Woodford Reserve brand, said additional brands will also be highlighted in the partnership, including Old Forester as the “Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby” and sponsor of Thurby, as well as Premium Finlandia vodka’s use in the Oaks Lily cocktail.
The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled on May 6.
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