LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2012) – Churchill Downs Racetrack has named Monica Edwards to serve as Vice President of Marketing at the home of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Edwards, 42, began her duties at the historic Louisville, Ky., track on Monday, Nov. 5. Previously, she spent six years as vice president of marketing and communications with Vera Bradley, the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based handbag, travel and accessories retailer.
At Churchill Downs, Edwards will oversee the development and implementation of marketing, branding and social media strategies for Churchill Downs’ live racing meets, entertainment efforts and advertising and promotional efforts across all mediums. She also will serve as a primary liaison with Kentucky Derby broadcast partner NBC Sports and other media partners for the Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Churchill Downs races, Downs After Dark night racing and other entertainment efforts.
“Monica Edwards brings an impressive record of achievement, creativity and innovation to her new duties and all will be important assets as she leads Churchill Downs’ efforts on the rapidly changing and evolving landscapes of marketing, promotion and social media,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs. “The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks have displayed impressive growth in recent years, but we believe there is potential for continued growth and developments as these great sports and entertainment events head, respectively, into their 139th years. ‘Downs After Dark’ has brought impressive crowds filled with old and new fans to our track, and we’ll be looking to Monica as a key leader of our efforts to sustain and grow the appeal of those events, and to create and develop new entertainment concepts at Churchill Downs.”
During her years with Vera Bradley, Edwards led the development and implementation of the company’s national consumer campaign and oversaw its role in co-branded events that included the Vera Bradley float in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., and celebrity gifting suites at the Tony and Daytime Emmy Awards and Sundance Film Festivals.
She was a key player in the international launch of the Vera Bradley brand and oversaw marketing and communications during the rapidly-growing company’s initial public offering of stock.
Prior to her work with Vera Bradley, Edwards served as vice president of marketing for Drexel Heritage in High Point, N.C. While her position at Churchill Downs is her first in the horse industry, equine sports have long been a part of her life and she is an avid hunter/jumper rider.
Edwards is a native of Kingsport, Tenn., and a graduate of San Diego State University.