Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn and Churchill Downs racetrack in Kentucky have announced the start of a multiyear relationship establishing the automaker as the partner of the racetrack and the Kentucky Derby.
“With Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant practically in the backyard of Churchill Downs, Ford’s participation in this uniquely American tradition is long overdue,” says Matt Van Dyke, marketing director for Ford. “The Kentucky Derby is the longest-running sporting event in the United States, and one of the most iconic celebrations of the year.”
The new 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty will serve as the featured vehicle of the 146th Kentucky Derby, to be run on Saturday, May 2.
“Ford is such a big part of the Louisville community that this new partnership is a natural fit,” says Kevin Flanery, president of the racetrack. “Ford vehicles power so much of our operations at Churchill Downs, and many of our breeders rely on Ford Super Duty trucks to transport their precious cargo.”
Ford will host special access for FordPass Rewards members and celebrations for veterans and active military personnel throughout the Derby week at the racetrack. Each Kentucky Oaks and Derby horse owner also will receive a Ford Explorer to use during the event. Ford also will display lineups including the new 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty that recently began production at the Kentucky Truck Plant and the all-new 2020 Ford Escape that’s built at the Louisville Assembly Plant.
“Our employees here in Louisville are proud to be building products that play an integral role in our customers’ lives, and now for the great American tradition that is the Kentucky Derby,” says Joe Bobnar, director of manufacturing for Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant. “This partnership means something special to our thousands of dedicated employees, retirees, and dealers in the Louisville community.”
Ford will host a Ford Day during the 2020 racing season, offering its employees and their guests free admission to a race day.