With horse racing fans counting down to the Kentucky Derby, Kantar Media says the event is gaining in sponsorship value. And — in the wake of last year’s excitement with the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years — it expects those gains to continue.
From 2013 to 2015, the event grew from 27 to 37 sponsors, with 16 companies sponsoring in all three years. And Kantar found that the top five sponsors have gotten between 30 and 40% of overall media exposure value. In 2013, the value of media exposure totaled $2.1 million, dropping to $1.9 million in 2014, “despite sponsors increasing from 27 to 32 year-over-year,” Kantar says. “Last year however, the media exposure value jumped back up, more than doubling to $4.9 million.”
The data is based on Kantar Media’s Sport Intelligence, which monitors logo and signage exposure during sporting events and then calculates the value of media exposure, based on duration and impact. Analyzing sponsors for the last three years of the Derby, it found that although the event only lasts two minutes, the sport of kings has plenty of impact.
As expected, Yum!, the presenting sponsor, got the most value in each of the three years. And in 2014 and 2015, it says the top five sponsors were the same, including luxury watch brand Longines, Woodford Reserve distillery, Dodge RAM and Twinspires.com, the wagering arm of Churchill Downs. But only RAM showed consistent growth year-over-year.
Sponsors for this year’s event also include Brisnet, which handicaps races; Pepsi, Stella Artois and GH Mumm champagne.
About 170,000 fans, hats and all, are expected to attend the event at Churchill Downs -- the 142nd Kentucky Derby, while some 16 million people watch on TV. Nyquist is the early favorite, with Exaggerator the second choice in the 20-horse race.
But it will be hard to top last year’s event, won by American Pharoah. He went on to take the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, winning the sport's first Triple Crown in 37 years.