Woody Creek Distillers is the first premier U.S. partner of the PWHL
The GIST: The NHL has generated plenty of buzz through beer and liquor partnerships, so the PWHL borrowed from its playbook and announced Woody Creek Distillers as its first premier U.S. partner yesterday. With the move, the Colorado distillery follows a trend of alcoholic beverage companies investing extensively in women’s sports. Drinking it all in.
The details: The partnership follows the PWHL’s successful opening week and will include venue imagery, broadcast assets, and a social media series. Woody Creek will also play host to watch parties and PWHL season awards. Cheers.
- The small company is going big as the PWHL’s first American premier partner, but it’s not the first bev brand in women’s hockey. In 2021, Budweiser Canada furthered its campaign for gender equity in hockey by partnering with the PWHPA to erect a monument dedicated to the sport’s women athletes.
The context: Alcohol is an easy sell at sporting events, but beverage companies deserve credit for being early adopters of women’s sports sponsorships. Securing exclusive product partnerships is a smart business move regardless of the game, and the loyalty of women’s sports fans is an added bonus.
- ⚽ Soccer: Bud Light has been kicking it for many years, first as a longtime FIFA sponsor, then by inking an expansive 2023 NWSL sponsorship to replace Budweiser, the league’s first-ever beer sponsor. In 2019, Budweiser ran a campaign calling out gender disparity in soccer sponsorship, something Heineken emulated in a 2022 UEFA campaign.
- 🏀 Basketball: Molson Coors inked the first WNBA beer deal with the LA Sparks in 2021, while Michelob became the WNBA’s first-ever global beer partner in 2023, debuting a merch capsule at WNBA All-Star Weekend. Hennessy also forged NBA and WNBA ties in its 2020 partnership, which was extended last year.
- 📺 Media: Beverage companies’ support for women’s sports extends beyond the playing field. Michelob Ultra pledged $100M to equal representation in company advertising, including 50% of media inventory for women athletes. It also became the Women’s Sports Network’s first major sponsor last March, proving again that bev brands are first to the party.