Hear the Lion Roar: Whisky and Rugby Partnership

Blends the Best of the Best

Whyte & Mackay announce support of The British & Irish Lions 2017 Tour to New Zealand

 Whyte & Mackay today announce their biggest ever international sport partnership with legendary rugby team The British & Irish Lions.

The partnership is the first of its kind for the Scotch blended whisky brand, and will see it support the team on its much-anticipated tour of New Zealand in 2017. With a co-branded marketing campaign consumers will see the partnership brought to life through on and off trade activation, as well as a sizeable through-the-line media campaign.

The most unique touring team in world sport, the Lions are the best of the best, selected from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales – an ethos 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.

Starting with an on-pack promotion which will launch in Tesco stores nationwide from tomorrow, customers who purchase a bottle of Whyte & Mackay will be in with the chance to win tickets to experience the Tour in New Zealand, plus one of 25 official Lions replica jerseys.

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!”

Bryan Donaghey, CEO for Whyte & Mackay, said: “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.”