Johnnie Walker is today proud to announce the continued relationship with Mika Häkkinen in his role as Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador for its Formula One sponsorship programme. Mika has signed an extension to his multi-year deal, which makes him the sports longest serving responsible drinking ambassador.
Since 2005, Johnnie Walker has used its sponsorship of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One team as a platform to promote responsible drinking. Mika, two-time Formula 1 World Champion, joined the programme in November 2006 and has played a significant role in raising awareness of the importance of not drinking and driving and always staying in control.
For the past six years Mika has travelled to over 30 countries, including recent visits to key markets such as the Philippines and Malaysia, spreading the important message of responsible drinking, engaging with stakeholders, government officials, media and consumers.
He has also led the Join the Pact campaign, which to date has gathered nearly one million signatures of consumer commitments to never drink and drive. Johnnie Walker is excited that Mika will continue to support fresh initiatives through a variety of channels, aimed to create further impact in delivering important messages.
CEO, Diageo, Paul Walsh said: “Our continued relationship with double F1 World Champion, Mika Häkkinen, demonstrates our commitment to promoting responsible drinking which is an integral part of the Johnnie Walker sponsorship of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. I’m very proud of what the F1 programme has achieved so far in this area and firmly believe we can continue to make a positive contribution to people’s lives through this activity.
Global Brand Director for Johnnie Walker, Gavin Pike, said: “We are very excited to extend our partnership with Mika Häkkinen, who has shown a fervent passion for raising awareness of responsible drinking with consumers the world over. We truly believe that delivering these messages through Formula One and its role models, such as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Mika can have a significant impact.”
Mika Häkkinen, said: “I am delighted to continue my role as the Johnnie Walker Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador. We can never be complacent about this issue and I am very much looking forward to spreading the word even further with Johnnie Walker. If I can use the public profile I have gained through F1 to change attitudes and save lives, then we are making a big difference.”
For further information contact:
Manager, Communications, JMI
+ 44 7720 590 892 (mobile)
+ 44 2072 598 373 (office)
Christine van Waveren
Global Head of Brand Communication Whiskies, Diageo
NOTES TO EDITORS
About JOHNNIE WALKER® and Formula 1
JOHNNIE WALKER is the world’s number one Scotch Whisky brand, enjoyed by people in over 190 countries around the world. Since the time of founder, John Walker, it has been closely associated with the concept of personal progress. A combination of consumer insight, determination and commercial astuteness enabled three pioneering generations of Walker men to grow the small grocery store founded in 1820 into an international whisky business selling stylish, authentic, iconic brands.
John Walker & Sons is nearly 200 years old and still walking. That’s the JOHNNIE WALKER ® way to always look forward and constantly strive to be better. There is no better symbol of this pioneering ethos than the Striding Man, a figure sketched on a napkin by artist Tom Browne in 1908 and now an enduring symbol of our commitment to progress.
This progressive and innovative approach has continued into the 21st century and in 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER entered a partnering agreement with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team. Today JOHNNIE WALKER is recognised as an icon of personal progress, and as an international, high-status, sophisticated and iconic brand. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team and F1 closely match these characteristics and provide a unique and exciting platform for engaging with today’s consumer.
Diageo is committed to promoting responsible drinking, and responsible drinking is at the heart of our sponsorship of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. The issues of responsibility and choice are critical to the debates on alcohol. Through its pioneering sponsorship, and with Mika Häkkinen as the Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, JOHNNIE WALKER tackles these issues directly. The JOHNNIE WALKER relationship with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Mika Häkkinen demonstrates that alcoholic beverage companies can effectively promote responsible drinking and change consumer attitudes to over-consumption and drinking and driving.
Today’s range of stylish, award-winning whiskies now includes BLACK LABEL®, RED LABEL®, BLUE LABEL™ and GOLD LABEL RESERVE™, they account for 18 million cases annually (Impact Databank 2012), making JOHNNIE WALKER the most popular Scotch Whisky in the world. Formula 1 is the most watched sport in the world with a global television audience of 515 million unique viewers in 2011.
The big bold whiskies of the JOHNNIE WALKER® family each share a common core of balance, power and depth of flavour, while retaining an individual character to satisfy the needs of every whisky consumer and occasion.
The JOHNNIE WALKER® Master Blender, Jim Beverage, is part of an unbroken lineage of blending excellence dating back to 1820. Today, he upholds the Walker family belief that the art of blending demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to the pursuit of flavour, by continuing to select whiskies from the four corners of Scotland and skilfully blending them together to create the signature taste of JOHNNIE WALKER whiskies.
JOHNNIE WALKER® RED LABEL®:
This is the pioneer blend of the JOHNNIE WALKER family. This is the label that built the Walker empire and is today the world’s best selling Scotch Whisky. The Walker family used its encyclopaedic knowledge of Scotland’s malts and grains to create a rich, full bodied, crisp blend which has universal appeal, and is packed with excitement, energy and flavour.
JOHNNIE WALKER® BLACK LABEL®:
This is the Iconic Blend, the world’s leading deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky. This fine 12 year old Blended Scotch Whisky draws exceptional Scotch Whisky from across the four corners of Scotland and culminates in what is regarded as the epitome of the Master Blender’s art. This excellence is recognised by the numerous awards won over the last century. JOHNNIE WALKER ®BLACK LABEL® is a deeply satisfying, sophisticated whisky, the flavour marked by its ability to seamlessly combine the power of the West Coast whiskies with the subtlety and smoothness of the noted Mainland whiskies. Its deep fruity foreground flavours give way to drier peaty nuances vanilla and raisin tones and a long smooth malt silky finish.
JOHNNIE WALKER ® GOLD LABEL RESERVE™
A celebration of the blender’s Art. At the heart of the JOHNNIE WALKER® story is the art of the Master Blender. For the first 100 years of the business the company’s Master Blenders came exclusively from the Walker Family, with John Walker himself beginning an unbroken lineage of blending expertise that continues to this day. Inspired by this unbroken 190 lineage today’s Master Blender, Jim Beverage has personally crafted JOHNNIE WALKER ® GOLD LABEL RESERVE ™ as a vibrant celebration of his art.
He has handpicked his favourite whiskies, from selected reserves and skilfully blended them to create a bold, confident Blended Scotch Whisky that is as luxurious and indulgent as its name suggests – perfect for sharing at life’s celebratory moments.
JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™:
A remarkable Blended Scotch Whisky, a pinnacle of blending experience, inspired by the bold flavours of Alexander Walker’s legendary 1867 “Old Highland Whisky”. JOHNNIE WALKER® has some of the largest reserves of Scotch Whisky in the world but only 1 in 10,000 of these rare casks drawn from the four corners of Scotland contain whiskies of sufficient character to produce the remarkably smooth signature taste of JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL. This blend is big, bold and complex, delivering layer upon layer of flavour which sets the modern day standard for smoothness and balance.
Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business. With its global vision, and local marketing focus, Diageo brings to consumers an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across the spirits, wine and beer categories including Smirnoff, Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Baileys, J&B, Cuervo, Captain Morgan and Tanqueray, and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo trades in some 190 countries around the world and is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.
Diageo is committed to responsible drinking through: setting world-class standards in responsible marketing, promotion and innovation; promoting a shared understanding of what responsible drinking means, and working with others to combat alcohol misuse.
The JOHNNIE WALKER, RED LABEL, BLACK LABEL, GOLD LABEL RESERVE, and BLUE LABEL words, the Striding Figure device and associated logos are trade marks © John Walker & Sons 2012