Is Drone Racing a Sport? Mtn Dew Says Yes

Soda Brand Sponsors New Drone Racing League in Latest Alternative Sports Play

Published On
May 10, 2016

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Mtn Dew, which has a history of backing alternative sports like skateboarding, has struck what might be its most non-traditional deal yet. The soda brand will sponsor a new drone racing series as it puts the high-flying remote controlled devices at the center of a global ad campaign.

The sponsorship deal is with a new organization called DR1 Racing that plans to host events featuring some of the best drone pilots in the world. The first race will occur this summer at the Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles and feature 12 drone-racing pilots as they "face down a gauntlet of environmental and man-made obstacles," according to a statement. The race will air in August on Discovery Channel and Science Channel. DR1 will also live stream races on Twitch, a site known for streaming video game competitions.

Mtn Dew is also using drones in the next installment of its "Do the Dew" global marketing campaign. A TV spot (above) called "Drone Hunting," by BBDO, combines motocross, hunting and drone racing. The spot, which was filmed in the forests of Casablanca, Chile, was directed by Rupert Wyatt.

Dew will also sponsor drone-racing pilot Tommy "Ummagawd" Tibajia. That represents the first time a drone racer has signed a sponsorship deal with a brand, according to Mtn Dew.

"We are at our best when we get in early and we work with the Dew nation to influence things, create culture, help shape things. And that's exactly how we are thinking about drones," said Manos Spanos, global senior marketing director for Mountain Dew. "We are the first big brand to activate around drones and talk so aggressively around this."

Read the full story on Mtn Dew's drone alliance on