Blue Moon Rising: MillerCoors Brand Racing To Kentucky Derby As Official Craft Beer
Friday, January 4, 2019 at 06:29PM in Blue Moon, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Derby, beer, sponsorships, sports marketing

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

January 4, 2019:
Blue Moon, a division of MillerCoors, has signed a deal to become the official “craft beer” for the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Financial terms for the multi-year pact were not shared.

Corona Extra is the official import beer for the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Racetrack.

As part of the sponsorship, Churchill Downs will “develop and open the Blue Moon Taproom & Balcony, a new bar that will overlook the track’s paddock.”

The space will be open during live racing, serving Blue Moon products, including specialty offerings brewed at the brand’s Denver brewery.

Blue Moon also becomes title sponsor for Churchill Downs "Twilight Thursday" racing series, an event held each week during the track’s spring and September races.

According to Churchill Downs, Twilight Thursday features live racing, music and specialty food and drink.

On Derby Day, Blue Moon will create a branded pop-up venue on the Churchill Downs infield.

The alliance will be supported by a national social and digital media campaign and out-of-home advertising.

Blue Moon also said it would create “a suite of cross-branded glassware, POS marketing materials and such Blue Moon-branded accessories as bow ties, pocket squares, scarves, seersucker vests and Kentucky Derby headwear, aka the "fascinator," the distinctive hats worn on Derby Day.

This year’s Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 4 as the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby is the most-watched horse race in the U.S., with more than 160,000 attendees and 19 million TV viewers. according to NBC Sports Group, which broadcasts the race nationally on NBC.

“The Kentucky Derby is one of the premier events in sports and entertainment, and it has a certain culture around it — an elevated premium brand and experience that we feel is a perfect tie to what Blue Moon is all about,” Sean Robberson, senior brand manager for Blue Moon, said via the company.

“This not only gives us a presence in the most-renowned racing venue in the country, but it’s our first real foray into a large, national-scale event. This sponsorship is a big deal for Blue Moon as we seek to maintain our leadership in the craft space.”

According to Kristin Warfield, vp-partnerships for Churchill Downs Racetrack, “(We are) excited to bring Blue Moon to the thousands of racing fans who attend the Derby on the first Saturday in May and other premier racing events at Churchill Downs throughout the year.

“The partnership is a perfect fit with Churchill Downs’ guests and racing fans who want to enjoy a premium craft beer experience while watching the world’s greatest horse racing under the iconic twin spires."


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