Timed with the launch of a new ready-to-drink vodka cocktail called Huski Ice Spritz and yesterday’s Sports Business Journal announcement that Huski Chocolate—a Swedish premium chocolate milk brand and prominent motorsports sponsor—is rebranding its champion Indy Car with new Ice Spritz livery for the upcoming Indy 500, Huski President and CEO Mika Manninen informed speedonthewater.com that Huski Ice Spritz produced with Good Boy Vodka also is debuting on the Huski Chocolate-backed team’s Class 1 raceboat at this weekend’s Thunder on Cocoa Beach event.
In time for the season-opening Class 1 race in Cocoa Beach, Fla., the rebranded Huski Ice Spritz 47-foot Victory catamaran just received its new graphics to coincide with the launch of the Good Boy Vodka-produced cocktail from Huski Global. Photo courtesy Mica Manninen
Manninen is excited that the company was able to announce and start promoting its largest product entry into the U.S. market with this month’s Union International Motonautique Class 1 season opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and the historic Indiana race that driver Marcus Ericsson of the Huski-backed Chip Ganassi Racing team won in 2022. To be clear, Huski Ice Spritz Lemon—the first and only flavor of the product that is expected to be available in 15 states by September—is going to be the official look of the 47-foot Victory-built catamaran driven by Brit Lilly and throttled by Steve Curtis.
“We’d like to think of ourselves as the fastest brand on land and sea,” said Manninen, who moved to the United States from Finland in 1995 and now resides in Florida. “The passion, excitement and the thrill that competitors and fans share is something you cannot escape even if you wanted to. It’s that excitement and support that makes this such a wonderful platform to launch a new product.
“I don’t run or manage the offshore race team, nor do I pretend to tell Gary (Stray, the team’s crew chief) what he should do,” he added, then laughed, “But I’m certain the team is ready to go and eager to represent Huski Ice Spritz to start the season.”
Manninen said offshore racing was the primary catalyst for Huski Global getting its new cocktail line off the ground since Alex Pratt, who founded the Michigan-based Good Boy Vodka, is a Class 1 owner and throttleman and sponsors P1 Offshore, the production company behind Class 1.
“I met Alex last fall at the race in St. Pete (Fla.) and I could tell he’s a motivated individual—I think it was obvious for both of us after sitting down for an hour that we needed to do something together,” said Manninen, who anticipates Huski Ice Spritz becoming a leading brand for Huski Global, which is likely to continue its expansion into the food and beverage industry. “Huski was never meant to be a one-product company and bringing out our first ready-to-drink cocktail proves it. Thankfully Alex and the Good Boy Vodka team sped things along. I know they have only been around for a few years, but they are very hungry to grow, they are expanding really fast and they have very good relationships and excellent distribution.”
Powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines, the Huski Ice Spritz 47-footer is one of the favorites to win the 2023 Class 1 world championship.
With Good Boy Vodka producing the 4.5% ABV canned beverage that has a lemon taste, Pratt said he’s excited to see where the new business venture leads, especially since it crosses over with boat racing.
“Between production and manufacturing, we invested a good amount on our end, but I think the value of working with a company like Huski is going to be incredible,” said Pratt, who unfortunately will not be racing in Cocoa Beach because the MTI his XINSURANCE/Good Boy Vodka team recently acquired from Team Abu Dhabi was held up longer than expected in customs in Florida and is currently being painted in preparation for the second round race in Sarasota, Fla.
“We’re looking forward to growing this partnership,” he continued. “There is a lot of brand awareness that comes from partnering with a business such as Huski—a company with great products and great people. We’ve been trying to grow the Good Boy Vodka brand by aligning with the right people and this one was just a natural fit.”
Manninen echoed Pratt’s sentiments about the partnership. In fact, he said he’s made some excellent relationships through boat racing.
“I really enjoy the boat racing and how family and fan friendly it is,” Manninen said. “I have a good feeling that the racing fans are going to appreciate Huski Ice Spritz.”
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