The 2006 Kentucky Derby will now be referred to as “The Kentucky Derby presented by Yum Brands.”
The race, the first leg of the Triple Crown, which has not held a presenting sponsor for the last 132 years, has partnered with the parent company of Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers and KFC, for a five-year agreement.
Besides advertising during broadcasts of the race, Yum gets signage at the track, on the starting gate of the race, and the jackets of the pony riders who escort the Derby horses.
But Julie Koening, director of communications and IR at race venue Churchill Downs insisted the deal isn't title sponsorship. According to Koening, the Yum name will not be mentioned on the second and third references to the name of the race.
"The race will be referred to in the traditional way," she said, "as the Kentucky Derby and the Run of the Roses."
"This sponsorship will in no way effect our food services agreement with Levy's Restaurant for the day of the Derby," she added. The sponsorship will also have no effect on $2 million purse that is guaranteed to the winner of the race.
Both Churchill Downs and Yum corporate headquarters are located in Louisville, KY.
"They are a company that is right up the road, literally," said Koening. "We feel that this will be a good partnership because they are part of our hometown."