Thorntons Renews Partnership With Churchill Downs

Published in CSP Daily News

Becomes track's "Convenience Store & Gasoline Product Sponsor"

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Thorntons Inc. has announced an extension of its partnership with Churchill Downs Inc. as the "Convenience Store & Gasoline Product Sponsor" for Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Ky.--the historic home of the Kentucky Derby, one of the country's major sports and entertainment events.

The multi-year alliance will showcase a series of Thorntons and Churchill Downs racing and event-themed promotions, including the wildly-popular "Bet or No Bet" sweepstakes during the track's select "Downs After Dark" night racing events in the spring and fall.

"Bet or No Bet" Presented by Thorntons will randomly ask four fans during each "Downs After Dark" event to place a free $1,000 win wager on a horse in the upcoming race or simply walk away free and clear with a generous $100 Thorntons gift card right there on the spot.

An average of more than 25,000 spectators attended the springtime "Downs After Dark" events at Churchill Downs in 2011.

The Thorntons and Churchill Downs partnership also will feature co-branded signage and specially designed logos and graphics for display at Churchill Downs and Thorntons store locations throughout the "Kentuckiana" area. Additionally, Churchill Downs Racetrack service vehicles will sport decals that declare: "Fueled by Thorntons."

"Thorntons is extremely proud to be partnering with Churchill Downs Inc., a respected organization that is home to one of the world's premier sporting events, the Kentucky Derby," said Matt Thornton, president and CEO of Thorntons Inc. "Not only do both companies share a Louisville heritage, Churchill Downs and Thorntons have an ongoing commitment to customers and fans, our loyal team members and associates, as well as to the community itself. We are confident this collaboration will be an exciting and engaging experience for enthusiasts of both brands."

"Churchill Downs Racetrack is extremely delighted to have Thorntons Inc. among our growing family of corporate partners," said Churchill Downs Racetrack president Kevin Flanery. "When we introduced 'Downs After Dark' in 2009 and helped redefine the racing experience with ancillary activities that not only appealed to core customers but to casual patrons and an entirely new fan base of entertainment seekers, 'Bet or No Bet' quickly became one of the most popular elements. We're thrilled Thorntons will deliver this fan-favorite experience again in 2012."

Churchill Downs, one of the world's most legendary racetracks, 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 Inc. also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012, and its Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships a record eight times.

Louisville-based Thorntons is one of the leading independent gasoline and convenience chain retailers in the United States, currently operating throughout the Midwest. With more than $2.3 billion in revenue, Thorntons is one of largest privately held corporations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It operates 165 gasoline and convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas in five states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee. Thorntons distributes its petroleum products through its wholly owned Thornton Transportation Co. and operates a river bulk storage terminal in Louisville.