BMW has become the first luxury automotive partner of the Kentucky Derby. As part of this year’s events, BMW will have a strong presence at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, complete with displays of the new 7 Series, the i7, and an M850i convertible, while VIP and celebrity guests will arrive by way of the recently updated X7. On Derby Day (the day of the race), BMW will present the American Turf Stakes race, while on May 5, BMW will have a presence as part of Taste of Derby, the annual gathering of 1,200 people which celebrates famous chefs and entertainment while raising funds for hunger charities.
“The Kentucky Derby is an iconic luxury event that shares many of BMW’s brand values, including performance, memorable experiences, and the finest hospitality,” said Broderick McKinney, regional vice president, Central Region, BMW of North America. “This event is a unique opportunity to showcase the new BMW 7 Series and X7 in front of a global audience, while also connecting directly with BMW customers and fans in the region in a very authentic way.”
In addition to BMW, other brand partners include Monogram, FTD, Red Bull, and AIR.
“We’re very excited to welcome these lifestyle brands to the greatest race on earth,” said Casey Ramage, Churchill Downs Racetrack’s vice president of marketing and partnerships. “From a first look at BMW’s all-new electric vehicle to unique, Derby-inspired clothing and accessories, our new sponsors and licensees will help bring to life the luxury and excitement of the Kentucky Derby for fans across the globe.”
BMW Club 7
The seventh-generation BMW 7 Series and i7 xDrive60 will be displayed to the public for the first time as part of BMW Club 7, with the vehicles situated in front of a live flower wall with more than 7,000 roses and lilies providing a backdrop. Guests and attendees will get to experience both models through detailed walk-arounds, while a 360-degree photo booth will also be onsite to capture the moment.
The American Turf Stakes Race Presented By BMW
The American Turf Stakes race, presented by BMW, takes place on Derby Day and features prominent BMW branding in places such as the saddle towels, rider jackets, the finish line, the winner’s circle, and at the starting gate. Before the race begins, an advertisement for the BMW i7 will air on the largest 4K video screen in the world.
The Ultimate Macaron Bar
As part of Taste of Derby, for which BMW will supply the official vehicles, the automaker will also host the official BMW Macaron Bar, where attendees can curate their own macarons by choosing colors, fillings, and decorations. A BMW M850i xDrive convertible will also be on hand at the Ultimate Macaron Bar.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG, Pandamic Photo.]