I attended the Crown Royal Capture the Crown challenge as a social media influencer. Expenses were covered by Crown Royal, but all opinions remain my own.
Sometimes a brand just gets it. And when that happens, well, it makes the world a better place. Crown Royal is one of those brands. Sure, they make good whisky, but more importantly, they recognize everyday heroes. Heroes, like Green Beret John Wayne Walding, this year’s “Your Name Hero” winner and race namesake. For several years now, the Diageo brand has hosted influencers as a part of the Crown Royal Capture the Crown program.
Did you know during WWII Crown Royal stopped distilling whisky and produced supplies and medicine for the war?
This year, InDeepH2O.com won the goldent ticket, and received incredible access with a chance to Capture the Crown. I packed my bags excited to attend my very first NASCAR race, with no idea the weekend was about so much more. Saturday morning we were scheduled to ride around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the pace car, but Mother Nature rained on our parade. Sure, I was disappointed, but standing outside on the terrace of the Pagoda Suite, I had goosebumps. Not because of the weather. I was so pumped to be in the Crown Royal Suite, with a 360 view of the race track.
We started the day by attending a press conference with John Wayne Walding, Terrance J, and Big Machine Label Group country artist Justin Moore. This is where I confess I loved John Wayne, before he even started talking. I overheard a few people call him “dreamy”, but my infatuation had nothing to do with his dimples. A fellow Texan, John Wayne has plenty of country boy charm. Combine his charisma with the passion for his country, his impressive resume’ (he lost his leg in Afghanistan but went on to be the first amputee’ to graduate from sniper school), and humility. What’s not to love? And, he was born on the 4th of July #truestory!
I love this quote from John Wayne at the press conference:
I think as Americans, America is not awesome because it’s America, it’s just the people inside it that make it awesome. People need to understand that it’s precious and it can be lost, and that’s why we’re awesome is because we feel like we’re a part of something bigger than us.
We left the conference, and prepared to battle the competition. Our team: Phil from Gunaxin, Sujeet from Guys Gab, Vashti from Black Sports Online, and our leader Candice with Crown Royal. Justin Moore hosted a game of trivia for the three teams, with the winner getting a five minute head start. No, we weren’t the winners, but I did take a selfie with Justin, and get his autograph…..so still winning!
The Crown Royal Capture the Crown Challenge is an epic scavenger hunt with a mega prize up for grabs. With three teams competing, and one team eliminated after the first challenge, we worked together hoping to stay alive for Round 2. Within minutes of the challenge, we were posing with firefighters for our “photo with a hero in uniform” task. Next, we recruited 15 adults to help stuff Crown Royal camo care packages for our troops! Pretty cool that our competition revolved around honoring heroes!
We gave it our best shot, but arrived about sixty seconds behind our competition. Isn’t it funny that speed cost us the race? It wasn’t a total loss. Out of the race, we had plenty of time to sip on Crown Royal cocktails (stay tuned for recipes). Between enjoying Crown responsibly, I met some amazing people, like previous namesake Curtiss Shaver and his wife. And, I was able to have an in-depth tasting with Crown Royal Master of Whisky Stephen Wilson. I might not have captured the crown, but the amazing day was still a victory worth celebrating!
Stay tuned for more photos, and stories from my first NASCAR race!