Whyte & Mackay has announced it is partnering with The British & Irish Lions rugby team. It is the brands biggest ever international sport partnership, and its support will continue as the team tour New Zealand later this year.
The Lions team are considered are the best of the best rugby players, selected from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales – an ethos, say Whyte & Mackay, that parallels Whyte & Mackay’s blending process; bringing the finest single malts from the Highland and Speyside regions of Scotland, together with grain whisky in a unique triple maturation process to create their award-winning Scotch blended whisky since 1844.
The British & Irish Lions boast a heritage stretching back to 1888 while Whyte & Mackay is renowned for its lion logo, which has been in use for over 170 years. More recently, Whyte & Mackay’s ‘Surprisingly Smooth’ campaign features dapper lions – with playful creative shot by photographer and digital artist Tim Flach to challenge perceptions on blended whisky and highlight Whyte & Mackay’s smoother, richer taste.
The partnership will see an exciting programme of activity go live in the UK and New Zealand to support the on and off trade, including out of house media, digital and social amplification, and in-store promotions.
British & Irish Lions Chief Operating Officer Charlie McEwen said, “We are delighted to welcome Whyte & Mackay into the Lions commercial family. Like the Lions, Whyte & Mackay has rich and proud history, we look forward to working with them in the coming months to ensure that the partnership is a huge success and we hope our fans will enjoy a ‘wee dram’ during the Tour!”
While Bryan Donaghey, CEO for Whyte & Mackay, commented, “The double lion icon has been part of our brand heritage 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. We can’t wait to join the pride.”