Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Sponsors in line for Derby

Officials: Ads cut, but festival intact

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — Kentucky Derby officials say plans are secure for this year's festivities.

        “All our event sponsorships (are) secure,” said festival spokeswoman Stacey Yates. “The community seems to be waiting for the celebration to begin.”

        The theme will be “2001: A Festival Odyssey.”

        The event will have four main corporate sponsors: Blue Chip Broadcasting, Caesars Indiana, Ford Motor Co. and United Parcel Service.

        Ms. Yates said the budget for the event had been cut, but festival planners decided to reduce promotion and advertising rather than the show.

        In all, the 46th annual Derby Festival, which begins April 12, will have more than 70 events. The budget is about $6 million — including revenue from such sources as the $2 Pegasus Pins, which go on sale March 19.

        About 4,000 volunteers and 325 corporate sponsors will help stage the festival, which drew about 1.5 million people last year.

        “It amazes me how much the festival continues to grow and how many new companies choose to include the festival as part of their advertising and civic outreach,” said Mike Berry, festival president and CEO.

        “It seems like we begin earlier every year, but I guess that simply reflects this community's passion for the Derby Festival.”

        The Derby falls on May 5 this year.


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- Sponsors in line for Derby