Churchill Downs Incorporated

Project Description

Client:

Churchill Downs Incorporated 

THE ISSUE:

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), horse racing industry leader and host of the world-famous Kentucky Derby, wanted to make headlines when relocating its TwinSpires.com business to Louisville, Kentucky from California’s Silicon Valley. With the move came 70-plus high-tech, high-paying jobs for Louisville and a $2.2 million expansion to CDI’s existing corporate headquarters.

OUR STRATEGY:

RunSwitch worked with CDI to craft strategic messages highlighting the company’s role in strengthening and innovating Kentucky’s signature horse racing industry and bringing high-tech, high-paying jobs to Louisville. Additionally, RunSwitch coordinated a press conference and ribbon-cutting at CDI’s corporate offices that included Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, Louisville Forward chief Mary Ellen Wiederwohl and CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen. We also developed materials for internal and external audiences, including a press release, briefing documents for public officials and talking points for speakers, that incorporated our recommended messaging. RunSwitch engaged media leading up to, during and following the event, helping to drive attendance and secure comprehensive coverage. The press event culminated in a tour of the $2.2 million TwinSpires headquarters, which provided striking visuals for the many television cameras and photographers in the room.

RESULTS:

The press event was broadly attended and covered by local, statewide, national and trade media outlets, resulting in widespread, positive stories for CDI and TwinSpires. CDI’s role in bringing high-paying, high-tech jobs to Louisville was touted by every print, radio and television news outlet in the area, including The Louisville Courier-Journal, Louisville Business First, WDRB, WAVE, WHAS, WLKY, WFPL, Insider Louisville and The Lane Report. The story was also picked up by the Associated Press, generating coverage in prominent national outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Fox Sports and NBC Sports. Reporters and high-level public officials, including Governor Bevin, also took to social media to praise CDI for its significant investment in Kentucky and encouraged other companies to follow its lead. Our efforts positioned CDI as an industry innovator and a driver of economic growth and new jobs for Louisville and Kentucky.

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