We’ve never been bashful about calling out US events for their reliance on the most exclusive of corporate sponsors. Rolex and Land Rover’s dollars are as green as anyone’s and their support is certainly important, but they lack the ability or desire to use their marketing power to connect with the masses rather than a few cashed-up yacht owners. Rolex makes sailing seem more elite and exclusive than it really is, and that perception is probably more harmful to the sport’s appeal than any other factor. Mass market sponsors have better tools and more motivation to make sure everyone knows about their sponsored events, and while your local Yacht Club might be happier with gin, jewelry, luxury car, and legal sponsors, your event’s budget, exposure, and future will benefit a lot more from getting McDonalds or Microsoft in your corner.
That way of thinking is why we’re so stoked with what Julianna and Junior just announced for their innovative and surprisingly successful (15 Class 40s entered) Atlantic Cup, which starts in less than ten days. Once again, they’re proving how out-of-the-box thinking can create something from nothing. Screw the Moet and Chandon, out with the Grey Goose; this is one for the masses. And according to an announcement today, those masses in Charleston, NYC, and even Newport will be guzzling Pabst Blue Ribbon for the A-Cup stopovers. That’s right, folks: One of America’s most iconic beers among college students and poor sailors is now sponsoring sailing!
Amongst other things, teams will be rewarded with Pabst upon finishing each leg. And at the official Prize Giving Ceremony there will be a PBR can bath instead of champagne. Evan and Daren Metropoulos, the pair that run Pabst, said "The Atlantic Cup is poised to be one of the most challenging and rewarding sailing races in the U.S. We are excited to be supporting such a top-tier event from the inception that will surely only continue to grow annually." We’re going out to buy some PBR right now, thanks to this news. We suggest you do the same.