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FanDuel Snags Naming Rights For Upscale Kentucky Derby Venue

Written By J.R. Duren | Updated:
FanDuel Sponsors Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Upscale Lounge

Churchill Downs Racetrack announced this week a slew of new Kentucky Derby partners, one of which is FanDuel. The renowned sportsbook has naming rights for Churchill Downs’ Starting Gate Rooftop Garden, a swanky outdoor terrace overlooking the track.

“Guests on the rooftop will be able to gaze at an authentic panoramic view of Louisville while enjoying access s to several upscale bars and food offerings in a cozy yet party-like atmosphere,” the Derby’s website notes.

Rooftop area is a new addition to the famous horse racing track

The Starting Gate Rooftop Garden is new to Churchill Downs. It is the only seventh-floor venue at the entire track. It’s perched above three levels of grandstand seating and three levels of dining areas. An ideal vantage for bettors to keep an eye on the horse race.

The rooftop space is an exclusive one, as interested parties have to contact Churchill Downs’ premium concierge for pricing. Tickets to the area include food, drink, and an open bar.

FanDuel’s branding in the garden will reach upper-class clientele. Tickets to the rooftop venue will likely be among the most expensive available.

In addition to the FanDuel sponsorship, Churchill Downs announced at least nine other new partnerships. For example, Tequila Herradura will serve tequila cocktails inspired by the Run for the Roses. And popular Paramount Network show Yellowstone will have a booth where visitors can meet one of the show’s actors.

Churchill Downs Racetrack Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships Casey Ramage said in a statement:

“From spirits to fashion and virtual entertainment to automotive, we’re thrilled to embrace the variety our partnerships bring Kentucky Derby fans for an unbeatably enjoyable experience, no matter where they find themselves on Derby Day – at the track or at home.”

Naming rights another step in FanDuel-Churchill Downs relationship

In January, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) and FanDuel kicked off a multi-year partnership in which CDI provided FanDuel the tech to offer pari-mutuel gambling to its customers.

Among other things, the partnership gives FanDuel access to CDI horse racing content, including rights to all content from CDI thoroughbred tracks.

Additionally, FanDuel pays CDI an annual sponsorship fee to be a non-exclusive sports betting partner.

Churchill Downs sports betting efforts ramping up ahead of Derby

The Kentucky Derby will take place on May 5. And CDI is doing everything it can to make sure sports betting options are maximized for the race.

Earlier this month, the company announced it launched a second phase of upgrades to its Churchill Downs app. The app now includes a Kentucky Derby platform that provides users with:

  • Highlights of Derby weeks
  • Ticket Access
  • Event maps
  • Derby Week push notifications

Additionally, CDI-owned horse betting site TwinSpires.com will provide multiple activation centers at the race, as well as a marquee activation area with hospitality amenities.

Photo by Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo; illustrated by PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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