BMW of North America returned in 2023 as a key sponsor of the legendary Kentucky Derby®, repeating its presence for the second consecutive year. In 2022, BMW of North America introduced its first-ever i7 electric sedan at the event, garnering much excitement and interest from the crowd. This year, the focus was placed on the debut of BMW’s latest powerhouse, the XM, which is the most potent BMW vehicle to date. According to Broderick McKinney, vice president of BMW North America’s central region, the Kentucky Derby® provides an excellent platform for the BMW brand to connect with an audience of passionate racing enthusiasts and luxury experiences. With a focus on electrified, yet powerful vehicles infused with the ///M’s DNA, BMW of North America also presented to the crowd their top electric SUV: the BMW iX M60.
A Proper VIP Entrance
BMW’s presence at the Kentucky Derby® was impossible to ignore, thanks to a massive display of the new BMW XM at the VIP entrance. Guests, including celebrities and VIPs, were greeted by an Alpine White 653 horsepower BMW XM, which served as a luxurious and impressive welcome before walking the Derby’s famous red carpet. Another Black Sapphire XM was positioned behind the red carpet entrance, allowing visitors to experience the power and luxury of the M SUV up close. A fleet of BMW cars, including the XM, also served as shuttles for the event.
Live Flower Wall and BMW XM
Of course, it was not all about VIPs and celebrities. Car and racing fans were also greeted by another BMW XM placed in front of a live flower wall with over 7,000 roses and lilies. Guests entering the footprint experienced the BMW XM through detailed product walk-arounds, as well as a 360-degree photo booth to capture sharable memories of the event. Just like in 2022, the photo boot experience was a major highlight.
Horsepower meet Horsepower
At Kentucky Derby® 149, the BMW iX M60 had its own prominent display in front of the newly unveiled First Turn Suites building. The BMW exhibit included photo opportunities, providing guests with a fun and unique way to experience the electric SUV. BMW product experts were also on-site, offering guests detailed product walkarounds and answering any questions they might have. The iX M60’s impressive combination of power, luxury, and sustainability was showcased at the display, leaving a lasting impression on all who experienced it.
The American Turf Presented By BMW
BMW also took the center stage at the Kentucky Derby’s American Turf Stakes race, presenting the event with a range of brand exposure opportunities. These include prominent placements such as horse saddle towels, pony rider jackets, finish line, winner’s circle, and starting gate signage, ensuring that BMW’s presence is felt throughout the event. The race winner received the trophy from Marcus Casey, vice president of marketing for BMW North America, and Broderick McKinney, vice president of BMW North America’s central region.
Exclusive Experience for BMW Central Region’s Sales Contest Winners
As a part of BMW Central Region’s sales contest, lucky winners were invited to be guests of BMW USA at the 2023 Kentucky Derby. The exclusive experience began with a tour of the iconic Buffalo Trace distillery, offering a glimpse into the history of one of Kentucky’s most famous exports. The winners then spent a full weekend participating in a range of activities at the Kentucky Derby, making unforgettable memories along the way. The event provided an excellent opportunity for BMW Central Region’s dealers to enjoy the finest in Kentucky hospitality while experiencing the excitement and glamour of one of the world’s most iconic sporting events.
Overall, the experience demonstrated BMW of North America’s commitment to rewarding hard work and excellence while showcasing the best of what Kentucky has to offer.