Effort: 1997 Stoli Vodka Ski Classic.
Agencies: On-site promotional work handled by Ski Sports Marketing, Basalt, Colo.; media relations by Kratz & Co., New York.
Twist: The Stoli Classic ski race generates in-store brand awareness for Solichnaya vodka by limiting eligibility strictly to foodservice and bar professionals. An ancillary recipe contest and tasting follow each race this year and focus on Stoli's six new flavored vodkas. Donation of entry fees to local hunger relief charities, as well as a daily satellite feed of race footage to local TV stations, helps generate consumer interest.
Budget: About $500,000. "This is extremely cost-effective for us," said Patricia Barroll, Carillon's VP-marketing communications.
Vital statistics: In its 11th year, the race appears in five locales on alternate Mondays from Jan. 27 through March 24. The regional stops are Vail, Colo.; Killington, Vt.; Ski Windham, N.Y., Squaw Valley, Calif.; and Crystal Mountain, Wash. Hosting the event on typically slow Mondays helps generate more interest and local press coverage. On-site promotion includes branded banners, slalom gates and ski aprons for entrants.
Kate Fitzgerald edits Events & Promotions. Reach us by fax at (312) 649-5331 or e-mail address K8FITZ@aol.com.