05/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Risk Of Branding In The Derby Winner's Circle

MINUTES before he was to appear live on NBC on Saturday as the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, David C. Novak, the chief executive of Yum Brands, says he was in the dark.

He was waiting to enter the winner's circle, crowded onto a staircase with his senior vice president, Jonathan Blum; the Kentucky governor; the chief executive of Churchill Downs; and all their wives. Just before they were about to step outside, the group was told to wait.

"We assumed there was some technical difficulty with the broadcast, because we didn't hear anything," Mr. Blum said.

After a few minutes with little further information, the group stepped onto the packed podium.

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