Sagamore Spirit and Sagamore Racing

Preakness Week 2016

Background

Based in Glyndon, Md., Sagamore Racing is a professional horse racing team once owned by Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr., who developed Sagamore Farm into a world-renowned racing and breeding operation from 1933-1986. In 2007, Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank, a Maryland native, purchased the 530-acre farm implementing a long-term restoration plan with the mission to breed, raise and race Thoroughbreds at the sport’s highest level, while preserving its storied and rich tradition. As Baltimore’s hometown team, Sagamore Racing has continued to play a large role in hosting the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Md.

Sagamore Spirit is a Baltimore-based whiskey company, dedicated to making spirits worthy of Maryland’s rich distilling history. Sagamore Spirit Straight Rye Whiskey is an American whiskey with a unique mash bill and proofing process. The distilling team blends two different straight rye whiskies – a high rye and a low rye – and then adds Sagamore Farm spring-fed water to create an 83 proof Maryland-style rye whiskey. Sagamore Spirit drives this water 22 miles from the limestone spring at Sagamore Farm to their bottling facility at City Garage in Port Covington. 100 percent of Sagamore Rye is cut to proof with this distinct water. After launching on May 13, 2016, Sagamore Spirit became the official rye whiskey for Preakness weekend and sponsored the Pimlico Special (G3) and the Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3).

Strategy

To highlight Sagamore Racing’s involvement in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and Sagamore Spirit’s sponsorship of Preakness Weekend as the official rye whiskey of Preakness, Maroon PR developed a strategy to share the visions that Sagamore Racing and Sagamore Spirit’s leaderships have for their organizations, as well as showcase the progress Sagamore Racing has made in reviving Thoroughbred Racing in Maryland and the revival of Maryland rye whiskey heritage with Sagamore Spirit. The Sagamore Racing and Sagamore Spirit teams at Maroon PR worked together to draft and distribute an announcement release on the Preakness weekend sponsorship.

In the week leading up to Preakness, both teams tapped local news and horse racing media outlets to share Sagamore’s involvement in Preakness and position Sagamore Racing President Hunter Rankin as the local horse racing expert and Sagamore Spirit President Brian Treacy as the local whiskey expert. Both teams worked together to secure interviews with various outlets at Sagamore Farm as well as Pimlico Racecourse. The Maroon PR team also attended Pimlico on Preakness Day to assist with on-site media opportunities and share out timely information across the Sagamore Racing social media platforms.

Results

The media coverage for both Sagamore Racing and Sagamore Spirit has been widespread, and terrific buzz was garnered pre and post event. Notable media hits for Sagamore Racing included WBAL-TV, WBAL Radio, WJZ-TV, and 105.7 The Fan and exceeded more than 1.4M media impressions worth over $111k in publicity value. The Sagamore Racing social media platforms reached over 55.7k users and received engagement from over 3.9k users. Key placements for Sagamore Spirit were secured in WBAL-TV, WJZ-TV, Baltimore Business Journal, WBAL Radio, 105.7 The Fan, WMAR-TV, The Georgetowner, Baltimore Magazine and The Baltimore Sun garnering over 1.4M media impressions worth over $301K in publicity value. Sagamore Spirit is off to a terrific start and Sagamore Racing has been able to keep up with their tremendous success.

Photos

Media Placements