EL GRADO TEQUILA PARTNERS WITH DEMPSEY RACING “Tequila’s Crown Jewel” Joins the Hunt for Rolex Series Championship; Dempsey Team to Race with El Grado Livery at 24 Hours of Le Mans
Corpus Christi, TX June 11, 2009---Category-defining new tequila El Grado is racing to show tequila connoisseurs that it is “Tequila’s Crown Jewel.” Now, Texas-based El Grado has joined a race of a different kind: professional motorsports. El Grado has confirmed a partnership with Dempsey Racing to partner with the team for the remainder of the team’s 2009 season as Dempsey Racing’s drivers Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey compete in their Mazda RX-8 GT in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races across the country. In addition, El Grado is supporting Dempsey Racing in its Ferrari 430 GT entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (officially, Le 77ème Grand Prix d’Endurance les 24 Heures du Mans) with Team Seattle. With El Grado’s partnership, Dempsey Racing seeks to support the Team Seattle bid as they use professional motorsports to raise awareness for the groundbreaking work of Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Dempsey Racing’s Mazda RX-8 GT debuted in El Grado livery in time for the team’s best finish (7th) in the Rolex Sports Car Series in Millville, New Jersey, a 10th place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, and 7th in this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in Watkins Glen, NY. June 13-14, Dempsey and his teammate, Grand Am Koni Challenge Champion Joe Foster, compete in the 77th running of one of motor racing’s crown jewels, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For this race, El Grado logos will grace a Ferrari 430GT prepared by multiple FIA-championship winning team Advanced Engineering, based in Milan, Italy. Dempsey will take turns piloting the machine with Foster and racer/instructor Don Kitch, Jr.
As a team owner and driver in Dempsey Racing, Patrick Dempsey sheds his heartthrob image from feature films and television to focus on his driving. In this race, though, Dempsey follows in the footsteps of one other legendary actor and race car driver, Paul Newman, who drove a Porsche 935 in the 1979 24 hours of Le Mans and finished in second place.
"The El Grado brand and their management vision is a perfect fit for us at Dempsey Racing,” comments Dempsey. “This partnership has set the ground work for a long-term successful program. I believe that the race track is the perfect place to create brand awareness for El Grado and our team is the right team to deliver it. We look forward to expanding this partnership as the season progresses.” Following the Le Mans bid, Dempsey said, “this opportunity to ally with Team Seattle and enhances its efforts to drive funding to Seattle Children’s Hospital and their Team France partner is an opportunity that Dempsey racing is proud to accept.”
“Our team and partners are equally thrilled about our new partnership with El Grado Tequila” adds Foster. “The business relationship and growth potential is endless. We are excited to bring a new high end, exclusive brand into the Rolex Sports Car Series very much look forward to a long relationship.”
In addition to its support of the team on the track, El Grado has been activating its sponsorship with online contests, on-premise promotions and personal appearances with the team. Fans can visit www.elgradoracing.com to obtain contest details. Prizes range from a trip for two to the October 8-10 Homestead-Miami Grand-Am Rolex Series races to diamond jewelry to accompany “Tequila’s Crown Jewel™.”
“El Grado Spirits is proud to support Dempsey Racing at home and as they represent the United States abroad,” concludes El Grado Spirits co-founder Ashly Kubicek, echoing the sentiments of her partners Page Brockman, Ben Gonzales and Ron Park. “As we launch our brand; we were excited to find a partner like Dempsey Racing who shares our belief that integrity matters. We wish them the best of luck on the track, this weekend and every weekend. We’re looking forward to celebrating with El Grado in the winner’s circle.”
About Dempsey Racing
Formed in 2002 under the name of Hyper Sport LLC, the re-branded Dempsey Racing is a professional sports car racing team competing at the top levels of American endurance sports car racing. In 2008, Hyper Sport garnered First Place Team and Driver’s Championship honors with its Ford Mustang FR500-C program in the Grand Am Koni Challenge Series with 2 wins, 4 Pole Positions and the most laps led during this competitive season. Beginning in the American Le Mans Series in a factory-backed Panoz GTLM, Dempsey Racing has advanced into Grand Am sanctioned road racing and has competed both in the Rolex and Koni Challenge Series in BMW, Infiniti, Ford and Mazda products.
Since late 2005, A-list movie and television actor Patrick Dempsey has been a co-owner and driver for Dempsey Racing in both its Koni Challenge and Rolex Series activities. Bringing a new level of media value and competitive spirit to the team, Patrick has proven himself on track as well as ensured that Dempsey Racing and its partners receive a huge return on branding investments. In 2009 the team changed its name to Dempsey Racing, but still operates its customer program under the Hyper Sport brand. The two organizations operate as one, but go racing as Dempsey Racing. www.teamhypersport.com
About El Grado Spirits
Texas-based El Grado Tequila—“Tequila’s Crown Jewel™”—produces a remarkable trio of uncommonly smooth tequilas: blanco, reposado and anejo. El Grado Tequila’s outstanding flavor profile comes both from its use of 100 percent pure Blue Weber agave and unconventional techniques El Grado’s master distillers use in producing the tequila. Combining the 200-year old traditions from the past with 21st-century technology, El Grado Tequila’s makers have created a distinct taste like nothing else on the market.
El Grado’s founders found Ana María Romero, a master Tequilera, author and expert taster, to help them formulate a smoother brand of ultra-premium tequila. Working with master distiller Salvador Fonseca, Romero, the team reviewed, refined, and taste-tested repeatedly before arriving at what they feel is a perfect product. They began a dedicated production line in Los Altos, the Highlands area of Jalisco, Mexico to produce El Grado earlier this spring, and the first bottles are being readied for shipment to arrive in California and Texas in July and August. www.elgradospirits.com
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