While many vodka brands have dabbled in the music space, few have taken as deep a dive as Tito’s Handmade Vodka. 

Looking to support its music-centric positioning and gain word-of-mouth advertising, the brand has significantly expanded its presence at music festivals over the past year, both in terms of number of deals and musical genres. 

Building on existing ties to Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza and the Outside Lands, Tito’s this year landed new deals with Bonnaroo; Electric Forest in Rothbury, Mich.; Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival presented by Landshark in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and the FYF Fest in Los Angeles.

In addition to music festivals, the Austin, Texas-based brand focuses on two other sponsorship platforms: film festivals (Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Sun Valley Film Festival, etc.); and food and wine festivals (Big Apple Barbecue Block Party presented by Southern Living, Nantucket Wine Festival, etc.)

Brand owner Fifth Generation, Inc. is the seventh most active sponsor in the vodka category, according to IEG Research.

Below, Nicole Portwood, Tito’s Handmade Vodka brand manager, discusses the distilled beverage brand’s approach to music festivals.

On Sponsoring Music Festivals
Music festival sponsorship is really our way to stay connected to the music space in a way that’s scalable for a small brand like ours.

We have authentic roots in music, being born and bred in the live music capital of the world. So, for us, festivals offer the opportunity to connect with music fans in a big way while staying true to what Tito started years ago.

Music is in the DNA of our brand. When Tito first started handcrafting his vodka here in Austin, he would give bottles to musicians who lived and played around town, as well as those who came through—offering a little of the hometown love in the best way he knew how.

Those musicians have become longtime friends and evangelists for us, and we want to keep being active in the world that’s been so good to us.

On Activating Sponsorship  
We have branded Airstream trailers that we take to events around the country. They serve as mobile lounges, bars and just great places for folks to unwind and get out of the sun for a while. That’s really at the core of our activation, especially at the big festivals.

Any time you have the chance to look someone in the eye, share the brand story and hopefully have them try a cocktail, it’s a success.

On What Makes A Property Good To Work With
Communication and organization are always at the top of our priority list. When an event producer really has their stuff together and communicates in a timely, organized fashion, it just makes everything run so much more smoothly.

Most Active Sponsors In The Vodka Category
Most Active Sponsors In The Vodka Category
*Twenty-six percent of properties with a sponsor in the vodka category report having Diageo as a sponsor.