February 18, 2011 USA Ski Jumping (USASJ) and Lagunitas Brewing Co. have announced that the California-based brewery will become the official malt beverage of USA Ski Jumping, beginning immediately and continuing through the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The four-year, six figure agreement gives Lagunitas the rights to domestic event presence, co-branded apparel and product, and use of the USASJ logo in digital and social media outlets.
Lagunitas, a Sonoma County, CA brewery, is looking to expand into European markets in 2012 and will reach new territories with USASJ leveraging the widespread international popularity of ski jumping. In addition to event presence, Lagunitas will craft a limited supply of a USASJ licensed ale with a percentage of product sales going back to the organization to support the quest for top international results.
“Lagunitas understands that they are much more than a sponsor. They’re a partner in helping grow the ski jumping sport out of the margins and onto the front page,” said USASJ Executive Director Jeff Hastings. “We are thrilled to have them. They have a broad and growing market and a very loyal customer base we hope to engage.”
Lagunitas has always supported music festivals and other regional events; this will be Lagunitas’ first major sportssponsorship. With sustained growth since its founding in 1993, Lagunitas CFO Leon Sharyon saw the partnership with USASJ as an opportunity to help both organizations grow with little risk involved.
“We have always proudly supported our community and friends in need. It was clear that the USASJ needed a few new friends,” said Lagunitas CMO Ron Lindenbusch.“This sponsorship is right in line with our basic philosophy – we try to find ways to turn beer into money to help the cause and we always seem to make a few new friends of our own along the way.”
USASJ was formed in May of 2010 after the United States Ski and Snowboard Association acknowledged that it would not be able to fund a national team program. The new entity is looking to reestablish the sport of ski jumping in the United States. With over 900,000,000 TV viewers worldwide last year, the sport ranks among the most popular in Europe and Asia. USASJ and Lagunitas hope to bring a similar level of excitement back to the United States in the run up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The deal was secured by USASJ’s sports marketing agency Shamrock Sports Group, based in Portland, ME. Shamrock is led by former NASCAR and Fenway Sports Group executive Brian Corcoran.
Released by USA Ski Jumping