Standing inside the giant tent that serves as party central for Block Island Race Week, Tamara Baldanza-Dekker surveyed the beautiful panoramic view of New Harbor that looks like a postcard.
“If this doesn’t scream Margaritaville, I don’t know what does,” she declared.
Baldanza-Dekker serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Margaritaville, a global lifestyle brand inspired by the lyrics and philosophies of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett.
Margaritaville has come aboard as the inaugural presenting partner for Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week. Participating sailors attending the nightly awards parties will find the big top has been transformed into Margaritaville on every level.
A must stop is the Margarita Bar, which is serving the brand’s signature Who’s to Blame margaritas using Margaritaville tequila. Also available is Land Shark Lager, another Margaritaville licensed product.
“Margaritaville is really about a state of mind. It speaks to fun and escapism, which is something sailors surely understand,” Baldanza-Dekker said. “We’re honored to be part of this iconic tradition that is Block Island Race Week. This is definitely our demographic and a partnership that makes perfect sense for our brand.”
Longtime Storm Trysail Club member Andrew Weiss was driving to Alabama listening to a National Public Radio broadcast about retirement living and the Margaritaville brand was mentioned.
“I’ve always been a huge Jimmy Buffett fan and love the whole message his music presents,” said Weiss, co-founder of Flintlock Construction Services in New York City.
Flintlock has long owned a piece of property in Times Square that it was unsure how to develop. Like a light bulb, Weiss decided to that site at 40th and 7th streets into Margaritaville Resort at Times Square.
After numerous conversations and meetings with Baldanza-Dekker and Margaritaville CEO John Cohlan, Flintlock Construction received branding permission and has begun creating what is believed to be the first resort in New York City complete with hotel, restaurant, multiple bars and a swimming pool. It is scheduled to open in November, 2020.
Weiss has been competing in Block Island Race Week since 1975 when he crewed for his father aboard an Ericson 39. The Mamaroneck, New York resident attended the Storm Trysail Club annual meeting and learned that Block Island Race Week was still without a major sponsor.
“It occurred to me that Margaritaville would be an absolute ideal sponsor,” said Weiss, who subsequently pitched the idea to Cohlan and Baldanza-Dekker.
So it is that Storm Trysail Club’s 2019 edition of the biennial regatta is now Block Island Race Week, presented by Margaritaville.
“We at Storm Trysail are delighted to be partnering with Margaritaville. They are the first-ever presenting partner for the club’s signature event and they have jumped in with both feet,” said Ed Cesare, regatta chairman.
“The team has truly transformed our event tent with their distinctive island vibe. By the same token we think Block Island Race makes a great setting in which to showcase a great lifestyle brand. Fins up, Sails up!” Cesare added.
Weiss stepped up as well by contributing to the overall sponsorship package on behalf of Margaritaville Resort at Times Square. His racing sailboat, normally called Christopher Dragon, has been renamed CDXI Powered by Margaritaville Times Square for this year’s regatta.
“I’m thrilled that Margaritaville agreed to partner with Block Island Race Week. I think it’s great for the club, great for the regatta and great for the brand,” Weiss said. “Margaritaville is bringing the fun factor back to Block Island Race Week.”
Buffett released his famous song Margaritaville as part of his seventh studio album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes that remains the best-selling of his career and has been certified platinum. That record-breaking single spawned a lifestyle that led to the opening of a retail store (1985) and restaurant (1987) – both named Margaritaville – in Key West.
Fans worldwide reacted favorably to the Margaritaville lifestyle and together Buffett and Cohlan have transformed it into a $1.8 billion company. There are Margaritaville resorts throughout the United States and the Caribbean with travelers “escaping to Margaritaville” in multiple locations in Florida (Key West, Hollywood, Pensacola Beach), Mississippi (Biloxi, Vicksburg), Tennessee (Nashville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Force), Costa Rica, Grand Cayman Islands, Bahama, Belize and Mexico.
Margaritaville’s initial foray into sports sponsorship involved Pickleball and supporting both the National Championships held at Indian Wells in Palm Springs, California and the U.S. Open held in Naples, Florida.
Margaritaville is also affiliated with 15 Major League Baseball franchises and 30 of their minor league affiliates. Margaritaville Night at the ballpark has become a huge hit.
Jimmy Buffett himself was thrilled to learn that Margaritaville had agreed to serve as presenting sponsor of the renowned regatta.
“Sailing has always been a big part of Jimmy’s lifestyle so this event fits with our brand DNA. It makes absolute sense on so many levels,” Baldanza-Dekker said.
About Margaritaville: It’s 17:00 Somewhere...Fins Up, Sails Up!
Margaritaville is a global lifestyle brand inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation.
Margaritaville features 18 lodging locations and 24 additional projects in the pipeline with nearly half under construction, two gaming properties and over 60 food and beverage venues including signature concepts such as Margaritaville Restaurant, award-winning JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o'clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill. More than 20 million travelers every year change their latitude and attitude with a visit to a Margaritaville resort, residential real estate destination, vacation club, vacation home rental or restaurant.
Consumers can also escape everyday through a collection of Margaritaville lifestyle products including apparel, footwear, frozen concoction makers, home décor, a satellite radio station and more. Additionally, the brand’s food, beverage and spirits lines – including Margaritaville tequilas, rums, LandShark Lager and a new bestselling cookbook – deliver authentic, tropical escapism to fans around the world. Margaritaville, a state of mind since 1977.