Churchill Downs, the historic home of the Kentucky Derby since 1875, has joined Longines, the Switzerland-based watchmaker that has built a world-wide tradition of excellence and elegance since 1832, in a partnership through which Longines will become the “Official Watch” and “Official Timekeeper” of America’s greatest race and its world famous home track.
The partnership between Churchill Downs and Longines begins with this year’s Kentucky Derby, the great race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that will be run at the track for the 137th consecutive year on Saturday, May 7. The Kentucky Derby, renewed without interruption since its debut in 1875, is America’s oldest continuously held sporting event and a spectacular celebration of sport, fashion, celebrity and food.
“Longines is delighted to add America’s greatest and most traditional race to its list of renowned sporting events,” said Walter von Känel, President of Longines. “This partnership truly represents a perfect match with the brand’s image and philosophy stated in its slogan: ‘Elegance is an attitude.’”
“This partnership links world-renowned brands that share deep and sustained traditions of achievement and excellence,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs. “A Kentucky Derby victory is annually sought by owners and trainers from around the globe who dream of bringing their horses to Churchill Downs, one of the world’s great sports venues, to compete for one of the most coveted prizes in sport. Throughout its impressive history, Longines has played a role at many grand international sports championships, and we are pleased that the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs now occupy prominent spots on that roster of events.”
Longines, based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, and its watchmaking expertise reflect a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and the sporting world. The new partnership between Churchill Downs and Longines adds the Kentucky Derby to a long and distinguished list of top-level, world-class international events in which the Swiss-based watchmaker has been a key participant. Longines also has served as “Official Timekeeper” or “Official Watch” for the French Open Tennis Championships; horse races at Britain’s famed Royal Ascot, host of Europe’s most elegant and prestigious Thoroughbred race meets; and numerous other international equestrian, gymnastics and alpine skiing events. The company’s brand is present in more than 130 countries and these sports are a reflection of Longines’ core values of precision and elegance.
As “Official Watch” and “Official Timekeeper” of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs, Longines will have a visual presence at the racetrack. Luxury clocks and timepieces will be located throughout the facility to showcase the partnership between Churchill Downs and Longines. The watchmaker also will have a digital “Longines Kentucky Derby Countdown Clock” on Churchill Downs’ official event Web site for the Kentucky Derby (www.KentuckyDerby.com). In addition, a “Longines Kentucky Derby Countdown Clock” display will be located at the Churchill Downs Store in Louisville International Airport. Longines also will present elegant watches to the winning owner, trainer and jockey of the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2011. The track’s 2011 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 30-July 4. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record seven times and the event will return to the track for its second consecutive year on Nov. 4-5. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
Based in St. Imier in Switzerland since 1832, the watchmaker Longines can look back on more than 175 years of non-stop craftsmanship, as well as a solid heritage as timekeeper for world championships in various sports and collaborator with different international sports federations. Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 130 countries.www.longines.com
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