RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Spirits Board (VSB) today announced the establishment of the Virginia Spirits Board Marketing Office (VSBMO) to provide marketing, promotion and consulting services to the VSB. Richmond-based communications firm, The Hodges Partnership, has been contracted to develop the VSBMO and implement a fully integrated marketing and branding program for the Virginia spirits industry.
The VSB is a commodity board of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services which is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VSB’s first contract for services is with the Hodges Partnership. Funding for the VSBMO is established from appropriated funds based on liter taxes.
“As the Birthplace of American Spirits, the Commonwealth is home to family legacies, recipes and traditions that continue to shape the spirits industry here and across the world,” said David Cuttino, Virginia Spirits Board chairman and CEO of Reservoir Distillery. “Today, Virginia distilleries represent an economic impact of more than $163 million and support 1,500 full-time jobs as small businesses produce extraordinary spirits. The Virginia Spirits Board is excited and proud to work with an agency like The Hodges Partnership to promote the many talented distillers across the Commonwealth.”
The Hodges Partnership will serve as the primary representative for conducting VSBMO business, and its office will be the central location for phone calls, postal mail, deliveries and meetings on behalf of the Virginia spirits industry.
“We’re excited to continue the momentum created by the Virginia Spirits Association, Virginia Spirits Board, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to raise awareness and drive sales for the Virginia spirits industry,” said Jack Gorman, The Hodges Partnership account director. “Our team is honored to launch the Virginia Spirits Board Marketing Office in a way that helps celebrate the best of Virginia’s spirits.”
In the coming months, the VSMBO will conduct extensive research to gain an in-depth knowledge of the Virginia spirits industry, starting with a series of “meet and greet” events at locations across the commonwealth. These sessions will be designed for distilleries and stakeholders to meet the VSMBO team and discuss marketing opportunities and challenges. In tandem with these events, the VSBMO will field online surveys to collect distillery feedback and review best practices and innovative programs that can be applied to the spirits industry in Virginia.
To learn more about the VSB, visit www.virginiaspirits.org or visit the VSBMO, co-located in the office space of The Hodges Partnership at 1805 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23223.
–Julia Loudy, Virginia Spirits Board