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Building a Whiskey by Reviving a Tradition 

OPPORTUNITY

How to put an upstart rye whiskey on the radar of millennial imbibers awash in new options by the barrelful? How to make it matter?

Maryland-made Sagamore Spirit had a point of difference: it’s development, distillation and aging in Maryland - plus a native ingredients story to go along with it – standing as an alternative to the Kentucky-made stuff.

That, however, could cut both ways, with legions of fans having long pledged allegiance to Bluegrass State whiskies.

We needed to go beyond an ingredients and craft story to break through in a meaningful way.

 

APPROACH

360’s strategy: cast Sagamore Spirit as the catalyst of a Maryland-made whiskey movement, illustrating its home state’s rich, little-known distilling heritage. We would differentiate and whet palates, casting Maryland-style rye as America’s original rye style: a gentler, smoother, time-perfected alternative.

Our three-year (and running) Rye, Maryland Style campaign is continually refreshed to keep the brand relevant and in media that matters. It kicked off with Whiskey Wiki, an online home for American whiskey history that invited anyone with knowledge and proof to post.

Next came Bourbon’s Older Brother, which made news by challenging Kentucky bourbon’s widely-held perception as America’s native whiskey. Our studio team created and placed can’t-miss outdoor advertising to make it full circle.

RESULTS

The campaign broke with a full-page New York Times story that effectively put Maryland rye back on the map and cast Sagamore Spirit as its revival’s catalyst. The likes of Food & Wine, Forbes and other mission-critical outlets followed in kind.

The Maryland heritage position infuses everything we do for the brand, from introductions of new varieties, to an influencer campaign that gives makers with aspirational backstories a brand-owned platform that drives tens of thousands of web sessions.

360’s work has been critical to Sagamore Spirit’s steep growth trajectory, helping build and support nationwide distribution at a rapid clip and growing sales beyond forecasts.

 

For more information contact 360PR+.