“It’s all about surprising and delighting the consumers on-site, so what unique experiences can we bring to the event that get people thinking about White Claw?”
-Kevin Hurd, Senior Manager-National Partnerships, Mark Anthony Brands
Having made waves at Sundance Film Festival and SXSW earlier this year, White Claw’s Shore Club experience made its way to the Kentucky Derby, May 6-7. While its first two iterations were focused on movies in Utah and music in Texas, the Shore Club activation in Louisville spotlighted the unique style that’s so entrenched in the Kentucky Derby’s culture. For some, the floral, bright fashions and colorful variety of bold fascinators and hats on display are more engaging than the actual horse race, and White Claw offered up experiences that tapped into “the next wave of style” at two Shore Club locations inside Churchill Downs Racetrack.
“We had a pretty big line to get into our activation for the majority of the Derby,” says Kevin Hurd, senior manager-national partnerships at Mark Anthony Brands. “I think for most people, it’s probably the nicest they’re dressing up the entire year, so we wanted to provide some kind of platform for them to highlight their unique style.”
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The first experience was a Glamdroid robotic camera that captured slow-mo videos in front of a white-and-black-striped backdrop made up of flowers and the White Claw logo. As the camera zoomed in and out, participants had their red carpet moment, posing in their Derby fashions and holding up their White Claw Hard Seltzer cans (two flavors were available) in black branded foam cooler sleeves. Speaking of can coolers, White Claw collaborated with local leather maker Clayton & Crume on a station to create custom monogrammed leather beverage sleeves for attendees.
“We only heard positive responses from the activation. Everybody really enjoyed the customizable koozies,” Hurd says. “It’s really all about surprising and delighting the consumers on-site, so what unique experiences can we bring to the event that get people thinking about White Claw, get them engaging with the brand?”
With this being White Claw’s fourth year activating at the Kentucky Derby, Hurd says the team took past event learnings to develop the Shore Club’s on-site footprint, as part of a campaign that included retail programming and a nationwide sweepstakes for a trip to the 2024 event. Additionally, White Claw hosted more than 60 watch parties throughout the country to amplify the Kentucky Derby partnership beyond Louisville.
Hurd describes White Claw as a “social- and digital-forward company,” driving buzz for the Shore Club through its website and social pages. Attendees were encouraged to share and tag their content with #WhiteClawDerby. In-person promotion continues to be a key part of the brand’s marketing strategy, as the Shore Club will be appearing at over 200 live events and music festivals this summer, including Outside Lands, Life is Beautiful, Sea.Hear.Now and Made in America. Partners: G7 Entertainment Marketing; VCCP; Edelman.
Spin Through the Shore Club:
Photo credit: White Claw