Hill Street Beverage Company signs sponsorship deal with FishTV

This is a fish story of sorts, except it’s about the one that didn’t get away.

The Hill Street Beverage Company has joined the list of corporate partners for FishTV, signing on as title sponsor with the 21-year-old program, which boasts a North America-wide audience of 6.5 million people.

The sponsorship agreement with FishTV‘s parent company, Fish On Productions, will see Toronto-based Hill Street promote its line of alcohol-free drinks across the property’s TV and online assets. FishTV is currently carried on 10 Canadian and three U.S.networks.

Toronto-based Hill Street has also signed a personal services agreement with FishTV host and founder Leo Stakos, that will see him work on various “business development activities,” including acting as a brand ambassador, securing new accounts in retail and foodservice and “general promotion” of Hill Street’s business.

Hill Street’s chief marketing officer, David Pullara, says that FishTV‘s audience, largely comprised of older men, provides a “great alignment” with the company’s portfolio of alcohol-free drinks.

The partnership is also built around the obvious link between beer and fishing, but without the safety rinks that accompany alcohol consumption and boating.

“Fishing and beer go together like hot dogs and ketchup,” says Pullara. “People will often enjoy a few drinks while they fish, despite the fact that drinking while boating is illegal and unsafe. The opportunity to provide this particular audience with a great-tasting, alcohol-free alternative was appealing.”

Pullara won’t disclose the exact nature of the sponsorship (“for competitive reasons”), but says that brand messaging will be integrated into FishTV, accompanied by standard commercial spots.

Hill Street was also attracted to FishTV’s North American reach, which in addition to its 6.5 million TV viewers also includes a significant web audience.

“Driving awareness of the Hill Street brand amongst those most likely to consider alcohol-free beverages is a top priority for me, so in that sense this is a terrific opportunity,” says Pullara.

Hill Street first encountered Stakos through its association with Prostate Cancer Canada (which is one of its medical research partners). “[We] share a lot of the same values in terms: we are both passionate about what we do, we both have very engaged and growing fan bases, and we both have a strong desire to give back,” says Pullara.

FishTV’s sponsors include the Ontario Toyota Dealers, Go RVing, Go Fish Ontario, Mercury Marine and Garmin Fish Finders.


Chris Powell