Two great prides of the Pacific Northwest will unite this fall as Deschutes becomes the official craft beer of the Pac-12 conference. The conference — which includes collegiate athletics across California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Washington — is gearing up for a new year of (in person) sporting events.
Under a multi-year contract, the Oregon-based brewery will be sold at the Pac-12 football championship (Dec. 3) and men’s basketball tournament (March 2022) under an integrated branding model.
“Aligning ourselves with Deschutes Brewery, a family-owned, regional craft brewery is a perfect match,” Steve Tseng, Pac-12 EVP of sales, stated in a press release. “With Deschutes based in our Pac-12 footprint in Bend, we look forward to increasing the awareness of this quintessential craft brewery beyond the Pacific Northwest.”
As the partnership moves forward, Deschutes outlines an exciting “text to win” program, which would give fans an “unpurchasable VIP experience.” Still in its early stage of planning, this opportunity could mean anything from celebrating with winners of the football championship to sitting in on a press conference.
Deschutes is no stranger to strategic sponsorships, especially in the athletics world. The company released Rip City Lager in 2020 through a partnership with the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, and in a recent “Run Hoppy” collaboration with Seattle-based shoemaker Brooks, a Deschutes-inspired running shoe was created featuring designs of beer mugs.
For now, Deschutes will continue to align itself with the fitness and athletic communities in its region. Between brewing up a new Run Hoppy Golden IPA and increasing its brand awareness through the Pac-12 conference, Deschutes is setting itself apart as a giant of craft beer.
“We’ve definitely put some stakes in the ground in the Pacific Northwest,” Neal Stewert, Deschutes VP of sales and marketing, told Brewbound.