Multi-School Agreement Marks GameDay Vodka’s First Foray into College Sports
Charleston, S.C. and Plano, Texas – Never Forget Brands, LLC looks to Learfield IMG College and its deep footprint in intercollegiate athletics to bolster visibility for its new signature GameDay Vodka among passionate college sports fans and alumni. A strategic multi-year, multi-school relationship between the two companies kicks off today.
Notably, this marks GameDay Vodka’s first entry into the college sports landscape. It also signals the first national-level sponsorship in the spirits category for Learfield IMG College, which manages the athletics and alumni association multimedia rights for schools across the country.
GameDay Vodka will be activating various elements of its comprehensive agreement with Learfield IMG College starting in key states such as Florida and Texas. Multiple partners include Florida State University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and University of Florida, as well as the Texas Exes, the alumni association of The University of Texas. Conversations are under way with school partners in other states as well.
“It’s a tremendous honor and responsibility to be the first spirit brand to align on a national partnership with Learfield IMG College,” said GameDay Vodka Co-Founder Zach David. “We couldn’t envision a better company to partner with because we share the same passion for sports as well as corporate culture and dedication to community service. We will use this platform as well as our charity, the Everyday Is Gameday Foundation, to give back to the local communities in each market and at the same time, put a heavy focus on responsible drinking.”
“This relationship does signify a new category for us and our university partners, and every aspect is being handled with a delicate touch to ensure delivery and messaging is done right,” added Learfield IMG College’s EVP, National Sales & Marketing Andrew Judelson. “The name, marks, tagline and brand essence of GameDay Vodka centers on fan loyalty and recognizing the undeniable passion fans have for their favorite teams and alma maters. We’re opening this category in a thoughtful, pragmatic matter, just as we did with the malt beverage category, and will provide the schools with tools to specifically reach alumni and consumers of legal drinking age.”
GameDay Vodka is a high-quality vodka that already has scored multiple 90+ point awards from various spirit competitions around the world. The brand’s premium packaging features a football goal post logo and tagline that reads “The Spirit of the Game” and comes adorned in school colors which instantaneously integrates a built-in affinity between GameDay Vodka and the 200 million sports fans throughout the country.
“Our brand has a spirited personality and is centered on the vibrancy of fandom and celebrating the relentless loyalty fans have for their sports and their teams,” said Ray Horal, co-founder of GameDay Vodka – the exclusive vodka pour of the 2021 Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee. “Gameday is about the fan experience and fans who bleed different colors. We focus our messaging around traditions, celebrations, legacies and lifestyle.”
To support its new corporate endeavor, GameDay has appointed veteran college sports marketer Charles Nieves as vice president, brand partnerships to lead all related activity for the emerging lifestyle brand’s portfolio. Nieves will manage the Learfield IMG College agreement, which is focused on the responsibility messaging and does not include pouring rights across all partners engaged. The sponsorship assets such as digital, radio, signage and IP will be handled by each institution respectively, while GameDay Vodka has category exclusivity with respect to distilled vodka producers.
About Never Forget Brands, LLC
Never Forget Brands, LLC owns GameDay Vodka, which launched in July 2020. Fueled by an unrivaled passion for community, quality and fun, two friends with a combined 30 years of experience in the industry set out to create a brand that combined their love for sports and premium vodka. GameDay Vodka is handcrafted in small batches in Charleston, S.C. and refined with the patented Terrepure process. Made from 100 percent corn, GameDay Vodka is gluten-free, six times distilled and for the fans, by the fans.
About Learfield IMG College
Learfield IMG College is the leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics. The company unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commerce solutions for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analytics; ticketing, ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.