WHYTE and Mackay is ready to roar with a new partnership that will see it sponsor the Lions’ 2017 tour to New Zealand.
The sponsorship signals the blended Scotch whisky brand’s first sponsorship of an international sports event.
Whyte & Mackay has said that, in addition to a shared use of the lion (Whyte & Mackay has used lions on its branding for over 170 years), it also shares a similar ethos to the Lions rugby team; just as its top players are selected from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, Whyte & Mackay’s blending process brings together single malts from the Highland and Speyside regions of Scotland.
Throughout the rugby team’s tour of New Zealand this year, Whyte & Mackay will undertake a co-branded marketing campaign, which includes on and off-trade support.
Chief amongst the sponsorship is the ‘Surprisingly Smooth’ campaign, which features ‘dapper’ lions. Created by photographer and digital artist Tim Flach, the lions are said to “challenge perceptions [of] blended whisky and highlight Whyte & Mackay’s smoother, richer taste”.
The sponsorship will also include a raft of out of home advertising, as well as promotion over digital and social media.
Bryan Donaghey, chief executive at Whyte & Mackay, said: “The double lion icon has been part of our brand since the beginning, and that’s just one parallel between the Whyte & Mackay brand and The British & Irish Lions.
“We are both brilliantly blended – while the Lions take the best rugby players and bring them together for great results, here at Whyte & Mackay, we combine the best single malt and grain whiskies to create our award-winning blended whisky.”