Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby US horse-racing event, has agreed a long-term partnership with soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola will serve as the official and exclusive soft drink partner of the Kentucky Derby as part of a five-year agreement covering the 2018 to 2022 editions of the event.

The partnership includes sponsorships, in-kind products, and support of a variety of products such as Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Life, Sprite, Powerade and Dasani.

During Derby week, the company will support community initiatives and fundraising events, with virtual reality experiences and customised race-day bottles to also be launched.

“Churchill Downs and Coca-Cola are two American icons so the partnership is an especially strong fit,” said Kristin Warfield, vice-president of partnerships at Churchill Downs. “The hundreds of thousands of racing fans who come from all over the world to experience Churchill Downs’ world class horseracing and the Kentucky Derby will now be able to enjoy a broad range of Coca-Cola products and experiences.”

Heather Hucks, Sr. director, brand marketing at Coca-Cola Consolidated, added: “Churchill Downs is one of the most iconic sports venues in the world. We are delighted to bring racing fans a variety of leading beverage choices throughout the year and at the Kentucky Derby. As the local bottler, we are committed to the Louisville community and are excited to grow this partnership – both on the track and off.”

Coca-Cola’s rival, PepsiCo, previously provided the soft drinks at Churchill Downs.

Image: Kybluegrass