Thorntons Shows Off Personality at Kentucky Derby Festival

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Thorntons Shows Off Personality at Kentucky Derby Festival


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thorntons Inc. is celebrating next month's Kentucky Derby with a new bakery treat and an entry in this month's Kentucky Derby Festival's Great Bed Races.

The convenience store chain partnered with CMTA Consulting Engineers, which worked on its gas station renovation, to design the "bed on wheels" that it will use to compete against more than 40 other teams in the Great Bed Races, according to Louisville Business First.

Thorntons is the title sponsor for the April 27 event, which will take place at the Broadbent Arena in Louisville. The sponsorship and race participation are tied to Thorntons' new look and branding, Rob Koller, director of local marketing, told the news outlet.

"We have really just been trying to get focused on our brand and our brand's personality," Koller said, adding that both the company and the Great Bed Races are fast, exciting and fun.

The theme for the 2015 races is "Ultimate Game Day." Participants are encouraged to incorporate their favorite sports team or game. Teams frequently incorporate costumes into their bed race entries.

Derby Welding & Machine Co. Inc. created Thorntons' racing bed once it was designed. "We wanted to make sure that we had a formidable entry into the bed race," Koller said.

Thorntons is also the official coffee sponsor of the Derby Festival and will give away free samples at the April 25 marathon and mini-marathon.

Just in time for the Kentucky Derby itself, Thorntons also introduced Bourbon Ball Donuts, a new twist on an old classic. The retailer collaborated with Matt Jamie, founder of Bourbon Barrel Foods, to translate the decadence and excitement of the Kentucky Derby into a single, tangible, delicious pastry, according to the announcement.

The Bourbon Ball Donut is a rich, smooth, bourbon cream-filled doughnut covered in bourbon-flavored chocolate icing and topped with a pecan. It is designed to perfectly capture the spirit of Kentucky's favorite time of the year, the company said. It is available for 99 cents from now through the May 1-2 Kentucky Derby at all Thorntons locations in Louisville, southern Indiana and Lexington, Ky.

A limited number of Bourbon Ball Donuts will be available at the Great Bed Races tailgate party on April 27. Additionally, Refreshing Rewards members will get a free doughnut offer from April 20-25. The doughnuts are made fresh daily at Thorntons' local bakery.

Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons operates 181 stores in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.