March 23, 2017. Louisville, KY.   – Seth Davis will go from March Madness to April Madness, as he helps kick-off this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival. Davis, an award-winning writer, broadcaster and best-selling author, will be the featured speaker at the 61st Annual They’re Off! Luncheon on Friday, April 21. The luncheon, first held in 1957, serves as the time-honored kick-off to each year’s Festival. It’s the second-oldest event on the Festival schedule.

“Like Derby Festival, March Madness tops the list of favorite times of year in Louisville and we know our basketball town will welcome Seth Davis as he helps kick-off this year’s celebration,” said Stacey Robinson, KDF EVP and Chief of Staff. “We know he’s a former Blue Devil, but we won’t hold it against him.”

The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East Hotel – site of the festive event since 1974. This year’s event will also feature the presentation of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Active Heroes Volunteer of the Year Award and the Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award for service to the community. Tickets are $85 each or $680 for a table of eight. To purchase tickets or to get additional information, please call (502) 584-FEST or visit KDF.org.

A senior writer for Sports Illustrated, Davis also serves as a studio analyst for CBS and hosts The Seth Davis Show on Campus Insiders. Davis has been a contributor for CBS Sports’ coverage of NCAA Men’s Basketball since 2003 where he serves as an analyst on AT THE HALF®, the college basketball halftime show. Davis has also served as an analyst for CBS Sports Network since 2004. In 2004, Davis was a reporter for CBS Sports’ THE NFL TODAY. Davis is a regular contributor to SI.com, where he authors his popular “Hoop Thoughts” column and has contributed to the magazine’s “Golf Plus” since 1995.  Prior to joining Sports Illustrated, he spent three years at the New Haven Register, covering primarily local sports, the NFL, NBA and college basketball. Davis has authored three best-selling books, Equinunk, Tell Your Story: My Return to Summer Camp (2003), When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball (2009), and Wooden: A Coach’s Life (2014). Davis graduated from Duke University in 1992 with a degree in political science. He has performed stand-up comedy in various clubs throughout New York City. He currently resides in California with his wife and two sons.

Davis joins Jay Bilas, Kenny Mayne, Dick Vitale, Terry Bradshaw, Erin Andrews, Bill Walton, Archie Manning, Greg Gumbel, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Larry King, Bob Costas, Robin Roberts, Cawood Ledford, Phil Simms and Howard Cosell in a long list of luminaries who have entertained They’re Off! Luncheon audiences for the past 60 years.

Contributing sponsors for the event are Active Heroes, Fifth Third Bank, Kentucky Blood Center, and Kentucky Proud with Media Sponsor Business First.

Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.

June 21 - June 21