Sarah Contardo is gearing up for her tenth Kentucky Derby as the Vice President of Sales & Strategy for the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Racetrack where she oversees all aspects of ticketing, sales, premium hospitality and suites, event rentals, customer experience, analytics, product development as well as international market expansion.
Under her guidance, the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs has seen an 80% growth in ticket revenue and has also established numerous attendance records including the highest attended Kentucky Derby with 170,513 attendees. Sarah has also brought a renewed focus on world class customer experience and service. This focus led to the completely inclusive food & beverage experience for every reserved seating attendee of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks that began in 2021. Sarah has also been an integral part of the concept, design and execution of the more than $400 million in facility upgrades, including the ongoing reimagined Paddock project which will be completed for the 150th Run for the Roses in May 2024.
A graduate of Miami University (OH) with degrees in Marketing and Finance, Sarah came to Churchill Downs after 3 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds where she started as the Director of Group Sales and then later served as the Senior Director of Ticket Marketing and Development. Prior to her time with the Reds, Sarah spent 11 years with Feld Entertainment, as an Event Marketing and Sales Director.