The special edition truck will go to the trainer of the winning horse in Saturday's long-standing race.
When the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday, the winning team stands to walk away with a $1.2 million award for claiming first place. In addition, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has something special specifically for the trainer of the winning horse – an additional 385 horses that come pre-corralled beneath the hood of a new Ram 2500 built specifically for this year’s event.
“Ram trucks are the perfect match for horse owners, trainers and riders, and partnering with America’s premiere racing events is a great way to demonstrate our commitment to these customers,” said Mike Manley, FCA’s head of Ram brand, in a press release. “With the longest-lasting pickup trucks on the market and class-leading capabilities, Ram trucks are well-deserving of the ‘Official Truck of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby’ status.”
The truck in question is a 2017 Ram 2500 Crew Cab, equipped with the Cummins 6.7-liter turbo-diesel inline six rated at 385 horsepower. FCA says the one-of-a-kind Ram was built in recognition of the brand’s eight-year run as the official truck of the event. Though one-of-a-kind has an exotic sound, special event branding on the bed with a Kentucky Derby rose badge on the grille are the only items that set this Ram apart from the rest of the breed.
Ram sales continue to be a bright spot for FCA. The brand outsold the Chevrolet Silverado in April to claim the number two spot behind Ford's mighty F-Series, but more importantly, it was the only Detroit automaker to post a year-over-year increase in truck sales. Meanwhile, FCA boss Sergio Marchionne recently suggested he would consider selling Ram, but offered no further details on circumstances where such a move might take place.
Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Gallery: Ram 2500 Kentucky Derby Special Edition
RAM TRUCK TO AWARD 143RD KENTUCKY DERBY WINNING TRAINER WITH A ONE-OF-A-KIND SPECIAL KENTUCKY DERBY EDITION RAM 2500
- The May 6 running of the Kentucky Derby marks Ram Truck brand’s eighth year as exclusive automotive partner
- Ram serves as Official Truck of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby
- Fans attending weekend races will be immersed in the Ram Truck brand experience, including truck displays, video board integrations, signage and posters, and Ram-branded giveaways
- Television ads during NBC broadcast and social media posts add to the day’s excitement for those fans celebrating Derby day across the country
- Pink-wrapped Ram 3500 Limited dually leads May 5 Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade
In recognition of eight years as the “Official Truck” of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby and exclusive automotive partner, Ram Truck will award the trainer of the winning horse a one-of-a-kind special 143rd Kentucky Derby edition Ram 2500 Limited truck.
“Ram trucks are the perfect match for horse owners, trainers and riders, and partnering with America’s premiere racing events is a great way to demonstrate our commitment to these customers,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “With the longest-lasting pickup trucks on the market and class-leading capabilities, Ram trucks are well-deserving of the ‘Official Truck of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby’ status.”
The brand’s sponsorship includes immersing fans attending the races, and those watching the festivities on TV, in a total Ram Truck brand experience. Fans will see on-site truck displays, video board integrations, backcountry and trackside signage throughout Churchill Downs, and branding on gate crew staff uniforms and on the clothing of jockeys Javier Castellano (Gunnevera), Brian Hernandez , Jr. (McCraken) and Joel Rosario (Practical Joke). In addition, Ram television spots will run during the NBC network telecast and there will be Derby posts on Ram social channels. Fans can follow the content and join the conversation at hashtag #RamDerby.
On Friday and Saturday mornings, Ram ProMaster vans will transport the traditional Kentucky Oaks “Lilies Garland” (Friday) and Derby “Roses Garland” (Saturday), to be worn by each day’s winning horses, and the winning jockeys’ bouquets to Churchill Downs from the Kroger store where the large floral arrangements are created each year. The rose garland is crafted with Freedom Roses and the lily garland is crafted with Stargazer Lilies.
For the first time, Ram has created a custom Derby edition Ram 2500 Limited and will award the one-of-a-kind truck to the trainer of the Thoroughbred who wins the 143rd Kentucky Derby. The exterior of this unique Brilliant Black truck includes blue Kentucky Derby 143rd logos on the left and right rear panels and a hand-painted Kentucky Derby rose badge on the front grille.
Also new this year, a pink-wrapped Ram 3500 Limited dually will lead the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade taking place Friday, May 5. Now in its ninth year, the parade is a march of breast and ovarian cancer survivors on the Churchill Downs’ historic racetrack. Prior to the 143rd running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks race, 143 survivors will walk in the parade led by the pink Ram truck.
On-site truck displays
Ram will have special Derby-themed truck displays and branded giveaway items at multiple locations throughout the Churchill Downs grounds. Two of the displays will include unique Ram Truck Kentucky Derby floral displays where race fans will have the opportunity to have commemorative souvenir pictures taken so they can share their Derby experience with friends and family.
Strategically placed posters and signs throughout the Churchill Downs stable area feature specially crafted “Dominate the Field” messages, reminding race fans of the dedication, unrelenting tenacity, stamina and years of hard work it takes to earn the glory of making it to the Kentucky Derby.
Ram will also run videos and social media messaging on Churchill Down’s “Big Board,” the largest video board in an outdoor arena capable of displaying advanced 4K ultra-high definition technology.
Four 30-second Ram television ads – three from the brand’s “Long Live” campaign with new Churchill Downs footage added – and a number of branded integrations will air May 6 during NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage. Set to a custom recording and arrangement of Bob Dylan’s song “Forever Young,” the “Long Live” spots salute tenacity, valor, courage, strength, community and tradition, values shared by those who depend on Ram trucks every day and those who work hard to make it to Churchill Downs. All spots end with “America’s Longest-lasting Pickups,” the brand’s “Guts. Glory. Ram.” tagline and the Kentucky Derby logo highlighting Ram as the official truck of Churchill Downs and the Derby.
The ads were created in partnership with full-service advertising agency Doner and can be seen on the Ram YouTube channel Saturday evening. In addition, NBC will run a custom co-branded vignette during its Derby coverage that extends these messages.
TwinSpires Ram Truck Giveaway
Ram is also working with TwinSpires.com on a truck giveaway for those at the Derby and everyone watching at home. The TwinSpires Ram Truck Giveaway is a fun and free way to try and win a 2017 Ram 3500 Limited. While the giveaway involves predicting the first four finishers in the 143rd Running of the Kentucky Derby, it is totally free and does not involve any race wagering or betting of any kind. Visit www.derbytruck.com for more information.
About Churchill Downs Incorporated
Churchill Downs Incorporated, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby. We are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 10,070 gaming positions in eight states, and we are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also one of the world's largest producers and distributors of mobile games through Big Fish Games, Inc. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.