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Putinka Vodka Sponsors U.S. Women's Bobsled Team

Published: November 11, 2013 (Issue # 1785)



  • The Putinka logo will appear on the bobsled during trial runs.
    Photo: Putinka Vodka

The U.S. women's bobsled team will be hoping everything goes down smoothly at the Sochi Olympics and may look to their new sponsor, Putinka vodka, for inspiration in avoiding the sting and watery eyes of defeat.

The bobsled duo, Jamie Greubel and Emily Azevedo, will wear the Putinka logo on their uniforms and feature the brandname on their sled during practice runs November ahead of the Games in February.

The deal between Putinka and the U.S. athletes seems to be an unlikely marriage, not in the least because the brand's name is almost identical to that of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to marketing executive Stanislav Kaufman, head of the advertising agency behind the campaign, the association is a positive one.

"Even if someone associates the brand with the president's name, that's not necessarily a contradiction. No matter what one thinks of him, Putin is a global player," he told news website RBK.

Some Americans might feel otherwise, however, with a survey conducted by Gallup in September concluding 53% of those in the U.S. polled hold an unfavorable opinion of the Russian leader, and only 19% see him in a favorable light.

Lenny Kasten, who manages the female bobsleigh team, says they accepted the sponsorship deal because they didn't receive enough funding from the U.S. government. "This is why we are ready to cooperate with any enterprise," he said.

"If one of the contract's provisions will abide us to drink a vodka shot we definitely will," he told RBK.

The bobsled sponsorship deal is an example of the creativity of Russian alcohol manufacturers in finding ways to bypass legislation that restricts advertising for alcoholic beverages to shops, restaurants and other retail venues.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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