Island Brands USA Looks To Spread Good Vibes In NASCAR With Sam Hunt Racingby Hunter Thomas February 13, 2023 0 comments
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Island Brands USA that’s based in Charleston, South Carolina is entering NASCAR for the first time to win races and to sell cases of its beer and other products.
The company is known for spreading good vibes, and it was most recently named one of the fastest-growing private companies in the Southeast on the Inc. 5000 list. In an effort to spread its love, Islands Brands USA is teaming up with Sam Hunt Racing and driver, Kaz Grala in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 16 races in 2023. The company’s Island Coastal Lager brand will appear on the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra for 11 races, and its flavored malt beverage CRUSH, will serve as the primary sponsor for five races.
“We’re running races to sell cases, and hopefully we’ll be winning races to sell cases,” said Scott Hansen, Co-founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Island Brands USA. “We looked at the demographics on that, and the NASCAR fans are freaking awesome, man. They are diehard supporters of the sponsors, whether it’s services or products, and we just felt like this is a great opportunity for a burgeoning brand like ours to expose to the NASCAR fans.”
Grala, who is a 24-year-old from Boston, Mass. is really excited about the new partnership. This season will mark his first-ever full-time opportunity in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Not only is he a fan of the Islands Brands USA culture, but he really likes how the products are more health conscious than its competitors.
“A beer sponsor is about as perfect as you can get in NASCAR,” Grala said. “They’re a perfect fit, not only for our team but for me as well, and me in my position as an athlete in this sport, they have so much cleaner products than most of the beers out on the market. It’s definitely for the more health conscious, the more environmental conscious consumer. They give back to the planet as well with some fun initiatives. They’ve been great to work with. I think that the NASCAR fan base is really going to love them and take to them.”
Sam Hunt Racing team owner, Sam Hunt believes that his organization and Islands Brands USA share the same work ethic and have a lot of similarities as they both try to breakthrough in two very competitive industries.
“To hear all of the similarities that Island has with Sam Hunt Racing as a younger company trying to cut their way into a very dominated industry, you know, they’re a non-craft beer trying to cut into that mainstream market for lagers and for beer, and they’re having success with it,” Hunt said. “They’ve been unconditional about how they’ve done it, and that’s how we’ve had to build the race team. It has just been really fun because I think we’re aligned with a lot of what we’re doing.”
Hansen echoed the same belief as Hunt when discussing where the two are in their journey. Island Brands USA has been in the market for five years, and through its crowdfunding effort, it has raised millions of dollars from about 6,000 participants. Now, it has an opportunity to share its products with some of the most loyal brand consumers in the United States.
“Our brand is kind of at the same spot, where we’ve been in the market for five years and are really starting to hit a stride, and I think his (Grala’s) journeyman story is similar to our brand’s story, and that’s how we kind of came together” Hansen said. “I got to meet Sam (Hunt) of course and his team, and the whole team at Sam Hunt Racing. I’m a big believer in these guys and what they’re doing, and I love that they’re younger guys trying to make a mark on something, and I believe they’re going to do it.”
Islands Brands USA won’t just be a sponsor on the Sam Hunt Racing No. 26 Toyota. The company will initiate a tremendous amount of activation so that fans can become a part of the culture and get involved with the efforts. These days, you can’t just slap a logo on a race car and hope that everything goes well, you’ve got to be engaging, and that’s exactly what the plan is for Islands Brands USA.
The hub of everything for Island Racing will be found on IslandBrandsRacing.com, and this is where fans can participate and have the opportunity to win trips of a lifetime, as well as really cool weekly prizes, too.
Hansen said, “If you go into any bar or restaurant that’s serving Island Brands draft or any of our other products – we have beyond beer products coming out this year – any major retailer or bar or restaurant that carries our products will have those QR codes or URL, and the URL is on the back of the cards as well as our show car, and we’ll be making appearances and doing activation, but that’s the central point to where consumers and fans can go to enter to win.”
The grand prize of Island Racing’s activation efforts will be an all-expense paid trip to the Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway in November. The winner will have a VIP experience and will get to meet Grala and Hansen.
First-place, which is separate from the grand prize, will have an all-expense paid trip to Homestead-Miami Speedway, when the NASCAR Xfinity Series visits for the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Playoffs. The winner will also be given a VIP experience and a meet and greet with Grala and Hansen.
Second-place will win a fishing trip on the 43-foot Alex Willis Custom Carolina sport fishing boat, named the EarlyBird that’s docked in Islamorada, Fla. The trip will also feature a stay in the Cheeca Lodge & Spa as well.
But wait, that’s not all. In addition to the big trips, Island Brands USA will also be hosting weekly giveaways, where fans can win tickets to races or $100 gift cards that can go towards Islands Brands USA’s products.
“When people enter, we’re giving away tickets to the races that are going to be in the market where the products are located, and then for our out-of-market races, we’re going to be offering a $100 gift card to an off-premise account that can be used or redeemed at an on-premise account or a major retailer to buy our products and have a race party,” Hansen said. “Each week, whether it’s the tickets or the $100 gift card, we also include an Island Racing swag bag, which has all kinds of cool stuff.”
Islands Brands USA is planning to be active in NASCAR for multiple years, so this is only the start of an incredible effort.
“Our brand has always stood for good vibes and spreading good vibes,” Hansen said. “We like to have fun. Racing and race fans I think will also understand, and our consumers will already know that Island Brands stands for fun and spreading good vibes.”
Islands Brands USA’s efforts kicks off this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Live coverage of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner 300 will broadcast on FS1 at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Island Brands USA – Primary Schedule
February 18 – Daytona International Speedway – Island Coastal Lager
March 18 – Atlanta Motor Speedway – CRUSH
April 1 – Richmond Raceway – Island Coastal Lager
April 15 – Martinsville Speedway – Island Coastal Lager
April 22 – Talladega Superspeedway – CRUSH
April 29 – Dover Motor Speedway – Island Coastal Lager
June 24 – Nashville Superspeedway – Island Coastal Lager
July 8 – Atlanta Motor Speedway – CRUSH
July 15 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Island Coastal Lager
August 19 – Watkins Glen International – Island Coastal Lager
August 25 – Daytona International Speedway – Island Coastal Lager
September 2 – Darlington Raceway – CRUSH
September 15 – Bristol Motor Speedway – CRUSH
October 7 – Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL – Island Coastal Lager
October 21 – Homestead Miami Speedway – Island Coastal Lager
October 28 – Martinsville Speedway – Island Coastal Lager
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