Just in time for World Oceans Day (June 8) Funky Buddha hard seltzer is hosting the first-ever Manatee Derby.
It’s like the Kentucky Derby--just swap horses for manatees, mint juleps for hard seltzer and a racetrack for the ocean. Big hats are optional.
The Florida-based brand is celebrating a recent expansion into eight new markets outside of the sunshine state: Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
In addition, the event will raise funds for Save The Manatee Club, with the first $30,000 donation from Funky Buddha. From June 4 through June 30, the brand will match donations up to $20,000. Fans can donate at www.manateederby.com.
“When we found out how deadly 2021 has been for Florida’s funkiest sea mammal, the manatee, we knew we had to do something,” said John Linn, marketing director, Funky Buddha & Constellation Brands. "Funky Buddha has been involved in water and ocean conservation for some time, but we wanted to do something even bigger and more meaningful.”
The Derby can be viewed live on ManateeDerby.com on June 8 at 6 P.M. ET. A promotional video can be seen here. The 9-minute-long race even has its own halftime show featuring many celebrities with Florida roots, like Channing Crowder, along with a Cameo video from Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. There will also be an announcer and faux jockeys (because no one should ride or touch a manatee).
“As a creative team, it’s always special when we can create a campaign that makes you laugh while also helping a good cause,” said Cora Fernandez, creative director of the community, the agency behind the website and promotional video. “I mean, we got to make a manatee race. What else can we ask for?”
And as for how manatees and Funky Buddha Premium Hard Seltzer are connected: both depend on clean Florida water.