LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, July 21, 2015) - Churchill Downs Racetrack today unveiled the official logos for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 142. The logos were designed by SME, a New York-based marketing agency that has developed the official Derby and Oaks marks since 2007. The 142nd running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands will take place on May 6 and 7, 2016, respectively.
For the Kentucky Derby 142 logo, Churchill Downs and SME chose a 1920s-inspired design to evoke the glamour of Derby's past and present and capture the mystique of winning America's Greatest Race. The simple identity of the jockey silks icon around the horseshoe rose and numeral 142 offers classic sophistication. The font chosen for the word "Kentucky" is reminiscent of movie title cards from the 1920s to reinforce the vintage look. The more contemporary font used for the word "Derby" provides balance to the composition and completes the logo. For the 142 event mark, a traditional color palette in classic Derby red and gold is accentuated with an energetic forest green and a strong foundational charcoal gray.
"We explored a number of graphic paths for the 142 logo and our collaborative process established a vintage treatment that harkens back to racing's past," said Ed O'Hara, Senior Partner at SME. "This year's mark features a classic jockey icon similar to those found in racing programs, while the negative space under the arms is a subtle nod to the iconic twin spires of Churchill Downs."
The Kentucky Oaks 142 logo continues the horseshoe imagery established two years ago that features the stargazer lily and the number of years the race has been run. The use of pink in the design reflects the Oaks Day "Pink Out" theme and Churchill Downs' continued commitment to generate awareness regarding breast and ovarian cancer education.
The logos will be used on a wide variety of Kentucky Derby and Oaks merchandise, including apparel for the whole family, the iconic silver Mint Julep cups, glassware, jewelry and other collectibles and gift items. Women's and men's T-shirts featuring the logo are available now at KentuckyDerbyStore.com. Additional official merchandise will be available online, at Churchill Downs Racetrack, the Louisville International Airport, the Kentucky Derby Museum Gift Shop and other retail outlets in time for the holidays.
Media outlets may obtain high-resolution copies of the Kentucky Derby 142 and Kentucky Oaks 142 logos for editorial use by logging on to www.ChurchillDownsIncorporated.com/Logos for more information or by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The $2 million Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 ¼-mile race for 3-year-olds is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing's challenging Triple Crown series. Also known as the "The Run for the Roses" and "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horserace in the nation, with more than 170,000 attendees in 2015.
The $1 million Kentucky Oaks is the most important and lucrative race for 3-year-old fillies and third most attended horse race in the country behind the Kentucky Derby. The 1 1/8-mile race takes place on the day prior to the Kentucky Derby.
SME (http://www.smebranding.com) is an independent strategic branding, advertising, marketing and digital agency, specializing in connecting with audiences through powerful identity development, digital strategy, advertising and social media engagement. Founded in 1989, SME enjoys a stellar worldwide reputation of creative excellence, thought leadership and client service. SME's client list includes some of the leading brands in global sports including the America's Cup, ACC, Carolina Hurricanes, Miami Marlins and many more.