An Olympic Mood
Hey, I’m Casey. Welcome to our newsletter, sharing the startup journey of Kamui Whisky. We’ve been busy, but when we aren’t overwhelmed, Rusty or I will share a story as we craft up a whisky distillery on a remote, volcanic island in the most northern part of Japan.
I’ve been loving these Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
And now the Paralympics.
It’s not a widely accepted view, or at least it wasn’t at the start of the Olympics when I started thinking about this post, but I think they’ve been hosted fantastically. There are so many human stories. So much drama. Emotion. I’m glad they happened.
Dedicated athletes on a massively visible worldwide platform. How do they perform under the pressure? Even if they are the best in their sports, how do they handle the moment? They’ve been training for 5 years, and longer, and sometimes their bout comes down to just a few seconds. Effort, striving, craft, beauty, all in a moment.
What does this have to do with Kamui Whisky?
For a while now, I’ve imagined sponsoring sporting events in Rishiri. Skateboarding was my first idea. Maybe snowboarding (we’ve got a couple of slopes!).
I’ve had a couple of conversations over the last couple of years with people in these communities about creating events in Rishiri, sponsored by Kamui Whisky, and the reaction was always positive.
But now with Japan sweeping the skateboarding medals', especially with the Japanese women dominating, it will probably price skateboarding event sponsorship out of our startup-size marketing budget. I spend a lot of time in Harajuku, and already the flagship skateshop is getting more traffic than it ever has….
We’ve talked, and looked into sponsoring a cycling event. Rishiri has a beautifully constructed cycling road. If we could do a full island loop event that would involve some beautiful scenery. A possibility.
Years back, Rusty and I have worked together to sponsor the US National Team, in a developing sport, Kudo. It’s special to the athletes, to get support for a sport that is no yet mainstream.
That’s what we’d like to do through Kamui Whisky, support developing sports. Under-supported sports. Help those athletes in their dedication to compete, help them compete on a global level. Maybe Paralympic teams.
That has been another great aspect of Tokyo2020, the level of visibility that the Paralympics have gotten - every sport televised. That’s a wonderful change to the past where the Paralympics might just get a small highlight segment. These stories are often even more courageous and inspiring than the regular Olympics. Watching some of the events was making my eyes well up.
We aspire for Kamui Whisky to be present for a pivotal moment in people’s lives.
Of course, people will come visit us, have a dram watching the sunset from our beautiful, volcanic cliffs, maybe accompanied with some world class seafood, and that will be a moving, memorable moment. Even beyond the beautiful moments with our whisky we want to help support special moments in our community, and similarly special moments in sport.
Can we play a role in an athlete, or a team’s development?
We’ll look at sports that are up-and-coming, like us. Help them develop, give them that crucial early belief and financial support. Make it a bit special and hand the winners a special bottle of whisky (if they’re of age).
It’ll take time, but it’s something that I’d very much like to do.
I’d love to see the emotion, the happiness, the special moments like we see daily with the Paralympics, and the Olympics a couple of weeks ago.
To be part of that special moment, and, in time, to deliver those special moments through sublime whisky, is what we want Kamui Whisky to be about.
If you have connections to a developing sport, where the players are committed, and they’ve got ambitious to grow it, and it could somehow make sense to do an event in Rishiri, let us know. We’d love to hear and start a conversation.