Florida’s Sports Coast Wins Big for Beer Partnership

First Florida Destination to Win a Henry Award for a Beer Marketing

Trinity, FL- (October 8, 2021)- Experience Florida’s Sports Coast (FSC), the destination marketing organization for Pasco County (DMO), has won first place for their unique marketing partnership with Escape Brewing Company.

FSC was recently awarded a Henry Award at VISIT FLORIDA’s Governor’s Conference banquet ceremony, held September 8 at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida.

“Winning a Henry Award is like winning the Stanley Cup or the Lombardi Trophy in tourism,” said Tourism Director, Adam Thomas.

This is the first Henry Award for FSC since the rebrand from Visit Pasco in March of 2019. The Henry was awarded for the Resource/Promotional Material-Consumer category.

The partnership between Florida’s Sports Coast and Escape Brewing Company was born out of the destination’s desire to diversify its marketing efforts by finding a unique way to further promote the brand’s sports-centered identity. Thus, the Sports Coast pilsner was born.

“Through this beer, Escape Brewing have created the perfect sensory translation of who we are as a destination,” said Thomas.

The creation of a promotional item that could be used to build destination advocacy from both a local and visitor viewpoint was important to Florida’s Sports Coast.

Originally intended for use at trade shows as a unique leave-behind, the marketing strategy for the beer had to be adapted due to the pandemic. FSC and Escape shifted gears and focused on using the beer to expand brand awareness and onboard local Pasco County residents in support of the new brand identity.

“With the beer being distributed to several business partners throughout the destination, both visitors and locals alike can see the Sports Coast pilsner at their favorite bar or restaurant or at their hotel and know that they’re apart of Florida’s Sports Coast,” said Thomas.

This also led to the “Have one on us” campaign-where a free Sports Coast pilsner was given to frontline workers as a token of appreciation. As part of that campaign the destination and brewery gave out over 100 cans of Sports Coast pilsners to frontline workers.

“We are very excited to be partners with Florida’s Sports Coast and we are truly proud of the Sports Coast Team on winning the Henry Award from VISIT FLORIDA. It’s exciting to see our county being recognized as a premier destination in Florida,” said John McGregor, co-founder of Escape Brewing Company.

According to VISIT FLORIDA, “The Flagler Awards is an annual statewide competition recognizing outstanding Florida tourism marketing. The program was created by VISIT FLORIDA to honor the countless individuals and organizations that help position Florida as the No. 1 travel destination in the world. Each year the Flagler Awards pay tribute to the determined efforts of those who use their skill, resourcefulness, creativity and innovative spirit to market Florida to the world.”

“I am so proud of the Florida’s Sports Coast team for winning their first Henry Award from Visit Florida,” Pasco County Commissioner and Tourist Development Council Chairman Mike Moore said. “The success of Florida’s Sports Coast is not an accident. You see it in recognitions like The Henry and an occupancy rate higher than the state average. This success comes from the strategic decisions made by the Board, Tourist Development Council, DMO team, and our community partners like Escape Brewing.”

For more information, contact Kolby Gayson, Communications Manager for Florida’s Sports Coast at 727-514-1675 or [email protected]. Learn more about Florida’s Sports Coast and their partnership with Escape Brewing Company here. Follow along on social media @flsportscoast and @escapebrewing.

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