Archives for the 'Sponsorship' Category
Goose Island brewery announced its acquisition by Anheuser-Busch this week.
A stalwart sponsor of local sailing regattas, and the favored choice of local beer drinking afficionados, Goose island was once a proud symbol of business success and skillful brew mastery, throughout the “Windy City” and the entire region.
The news was heralded by the company as a necessary step toward expanding production capacity to meet the ever-growing demand, which surpassed the output of the local brewery facilities.
In answer to beer enthusiasts’ concerns about quality, a spokesperson explained, “a highly scientific analysis of the local beer will allow Anheuser-Busch to manufacture mass quantities of Goose Island beer, much like it currently produces Budweiser today. By carefully studying the flavors of local Goose Island beer, and learning how to duplicate it exactly in large-scale factory production facilities, Goose Island beer made by Anheuser-Busch will actually taste more identical and authentic than beer made by Goose Island ourselves!”
Other concerns, however, were left unanswered. Why couldn’t Goose Island expand its business and its facilities locally? The loss of another successful business in Illinois to acquisition by an offshore foreign interest reflects the unintended consequences of government which over-taxes, over-spends, over-regulates, and over-burdens individuals and businesses of all sizes.
The problem at the national level is demonstrated by the previous loss of Budweiser to an overseas company.
Similarly, the local obstacles to Goose Island’s accelerated growth are largely due to a system of corrupt government and its intrusion into private business enterprise in Chicago, Cook and Illinois over the last 80 years or more.
However, on an upbeat note, Goose Island announced that it will respond to the business changes with a new direction in marketing.
The 312 beer, named after the Chicago telephone area code, was created to identify Goose Island as a Chicago landmark, and differentiated itself by appealing to an initial audience of trendy city dwellers, who were early to discover and enjoy Goose Island beer, even if only by chance, being more conveniently available in the local environs of the city.
“Goose Island beer is no longer a Chicago beer,” remarked the spokesperson. “In fact, we are no longer an American beer. So it no longer makes sense to name our product based on silly rivalries between faux urban hipsters and suburban poser wannabe’s.”
“Chicago itself is a provincial backwater of political crime and corruption, which we no longer can afford to be closely associated with. Look at Illinois- it’s considered a joke by the rest of our own country. Clearly, that is not in our best interest to promote.”
“We must disavow our past local connections. We are now part of the global economy, forced out of both our hometown and our home country by bad policies which thwart true business growth and economic freedom.”
“We have chosen a new product identity, which preserves the original concept. Our new product identity also strengthens and acknowledges our ownership by an offshore foreign company.”
“Today we can announce that 312 Beer will be renamed after the international telephone dialing prefix, and be known as ‘011’.”
When asked if Goose Island had plans to craft a special forty ounce malt to be distributed by the Jesse Jackson family relatives’ Budweiser distributorship in Chicago, the spokesperson said, “no comment.”
Donald Wilson Jr. looks to turn his Chicago Match Race Center into hub of international sailboat competitions
October 28, 2009
A 1997 headline in the Tribune declared Donald Wilson Jr. the “whiz kid” of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Now 41, Wilson, founder and CEO of DRW Trading Group, a derivatives trading firm, is trying to turn Chicago into a worldwide center for competitive sailing.
Earlier this year, he launched the Chicago Match Race Center, which has swiftly grown for one reason: Wilson’s wealth. This winter, he’s scouting for corporate sponsors for the center’s 2010 regattas, new members and, most of all, skilled competitors. Wilson won the center’s first regatta here in June.
“Defacto, it’s run as a benevolent dictatorship, because I’m paying for it all,” he said, declining to say how much money he has invested.
In match racing, identical sailboats race head to head on a course, usually with on-the-water umpires.
Wilson began sailing as a teenager in Switzerland and moved back to the United States to attend the University of Chicago, graduating in 2 1/4 years. He once paid $102,600 in a charity auction to observe a prestigious yacht race from onboard, serving as the so-called 18th man.
Wilson rents space for the center from the Chicago Park District at the north end of Belmont Harbor. And, so far, he has purchased eight new racing boats, four boats for umpires and a 70-foot houseboat that acts as a clubhouse. He also is buying four highly coveted boats for a new Olympic women’s sailing event.
The center’s top race this year attracted competitors from New Zealand, Japan and Europe.
“It’s only taken (the center) one year to make an impact on match racing in this country,” said Jake Fish, a spokesman for the United States Sailing Association. “Another interesting thing is that they really take care of their umpires, paying for all of their travel expenses. So they’re attractive for race management as well.”
Northern Trust was a past sponsor of the Chicago to Mackinac Sailboat Race and the Verve Cup Regatta.
Oops! Even after racing in these events, I was unaware of Northern Trust past race sponsorship.
(Maybe such obscurity is the reason why they no longer participate? It’s a purely speculative observation, but we wonder about such things.)
We recognize the challenges and hard work involving race sponsorship, and offer our thanks to all race sponsors and volunteers for the efforts that make sailboat racing possible.
(Of course, you knew that already, so it should go without saying. But we like to say it again anyway.)
Has anyone approached Northern Trust to sponsor any Chicago sailing events?
TMZ reports on lavish parties, gifts and entertainment by Northern Trust, after receiving $1.6 billion US government bailout funds and laying off 450 employees.
Sounds like an ideal sponsor!
In all seriousness, we disagree with the tone of the TMZ article.
Note that in a capitalist society with economic freedom, private enterprise shall be rewarded for its success. Rather than condemn Northern Trust for its business decisions, responsible news media should be well-advised to identify Northern Trust as a leader in its industry, avoiding the many banking pitfalls that beleaguer our economy today.
It is a failure of the government to disburse $1.6 billion in US taxpayer funds to a banking institution which does not require it.
We support all efforts by individuals and private enterprise to generate their own financial success and wealth, and remain highly skeptical of government interference with market economics.
Kudos to TMZ for questioning the role of Congress and our federal government in failing their responsibilities to taxpayers.
Update- some additional thoughts:
1. Sailboat racing requires a certain level of economic prosperity. Thus, it benefits racing to support policies which promote prosperity, rather than denigrate capitalism and successful private enterprise.
2. Interestingly, the Northern Trust statement responding to the TMZ article highlights the charitable contributions made to the community.
Apart from exercising social responsibility, it brings to mind the notion that event promotion supporting charitable efforts often yields greater rewards, both tangible and intangible, than sponsorship based on purely commercial interests.
Locally in Chicago, it would serve well to find an affluent sponsor to promote sailing to replace the loss of ABN AMRO’s highly visible participation in major local events.
The growing continued success of Windy City Match Race and the Leukemia Cup regatta demonstrate the value of charitable efforts combined with sailboat racing events.