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Ford Media Center
DEARBORN, Mich., April 30, 2021 – In 2020, Ford became the official truck, non-luxury SUV, car and van of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. Both Derby champions and Ford products embody the strength, tradition and horsepower that make each brand proudly American.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to delay last year’s event for nearly four months and run without a live audience, the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby will occur on its traditional date this year on the first Saturday of May.
“With two Ford plants located right in Louisville, the Derby feels like an event in the company’s second hometown,” said Jim Peters, Brand Content & Alliances Manager, Ford Motor Company. “This sponsorship and contribution to the local community are a big source of pride and reflect Fords larger commitment to America.”
The event at Churchill Downs will take place at about 50 percent reserved seating capacity and 30 percent in the Infield. Being the largest fan-attended sporting event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are required in all locations and a fixed seating plan in certain areas reflects social distancing guidelines.
To further aid in maintaining the safety of attendees, Ford is providing more than 150,000 face masks for Churchill Downs employees and race fans.
“With the delays to last year’s event due to COVID-19, Ford’s participation in this uniquely American tradition is long overdue,” said Peters. “The Kentucky Derby is the longest-running sporting event in the United States, and one of the most iconic celebrations of the year. Our workhorse trucks play a huge role supporting the many aspects of the equine and racing industries; we’re participating in this event not only to engage the broad range of customers that take part in the Derby, but to support the community in Kentucky as well.”
As official truck, non-luxury SUV, car and van of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, Ford is hosting on-site activations throughout Derby Week. Each Kentucky Oaks and Derby horse owner will receive a Ford Explorer to use during the event. Additionally, Derby attendees can experience a wide variety of displays highlighting the Ford lineup.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford trucks, utility vehicles, and cars – increasingly including electrified versions – and Lincoln luxury vehicles; provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company; and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected vehicle services. Ford employs approximately 186,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit corporate.ford.com.
Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Located in Louisville, CDRT features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility. www.ChurchillDowns.com.