For seven years, Bell’s Beer Brewery, headquartered in Comstock, Michigan, has been the presenting sponsor for the Bayview Yacht Club’s (Detroit, MI) annual race to Mackinac Island.
As might be expected, Bell’s Beer makes its presence known through inclusion of its name and logo in the event’s title and on bow stickers, billowing flags, and backdrops for giant music stages while providing its much-loved product to race participants.
But there also is a layer beneath all this that makes “something more” of the partnership between consumer product and much-loved distance race.
“It typically takes a decade to really change things in a community with sponsorship, but we get great support from the organizers and Mackinac Island, so it’s a two-way street, and the event is just absolutely phenomenal,” said Larry Bell, president of Bell’s Brewery since he founded the company in 1983.
It’s fair to say that Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race has become one of the most festive sailing events in the country, with a pre-race festival and raft-up on the Black River, a Parade of Sail to the starting line (enjoyed by spectators in lawn chairs watching from shore), and a party of gigantic proportions at the Grand Hotel on the island of Mackinac.
It’s estimated that 75,000 sailing fans, families and partygoers join in the peripheral fun to create an economic impact of between $30 and $59 million for the state of Michigan…