Mad River Brewery, San Francisco Giants ‘Make History with First Tribal Craft Beer Partnership’
This is a press release from Mad River Brewery:
Mad River Brewery and the San Francisco Giants have formed a first-of-its-kind partnership for the 2022 baseball season between a Tribal Brewery and a Major League Baseball franchise.
Oracle Park is known as one of the best craft beer ballparks in all of sports and home to a rich craft beer loving fan base. Mad River Brewery, tribally owned by the Yurok Tribe, signifies the Giants commitment to continuing to share its platforms with diverse partners and to elevate awareness for and celebrate the accomplishments of the Native American community. Linda Cooley, Yurok Tribal Member and MRB CEO, emphasized the significance of this step.
“It’s no secret that professional sports teams have been capitalizing off Natives for decades. That’s why this is so big; in this partnership the Giants put the message into our hands to tell our own story, eliminating the chance of tokenization.” Cooley, whose career has been enhanced by a lifelong connection to the beer industry, stepped up to the plate to lead the brewery following its purchase in 2019. Since then, the brewery has re-emerged, staying true to their 30+ year reputation for quality and craft while also unveiling a new brand, new products, new endeavors, and new partnerships.
When purchased in 2019, Yurok Agricultural Corporation recognized an opportunity to diversify the Tribe’s economic portfolio and drive economic success for the benefit of the Tribe and its members. The Yurok Tribe, though the largest Tribe in California, is also one of the most economically disadvantaged Tribes in the state. Nonetheless, the brewery and other businesses owned by the Tribe have continued to extend the ethos of the Tribe, driving environmental stewardship. Each of the brewery’s new products tie back to that vision.
“We are elated to partner with the Giants. We couldn’t be prouder to partner with a team who continues to recognize and elevate Indigenous peoples,” said Toby Vanlandingham, President, YAC. “This partnership enriches our story, enhances our community, and ultimately supports tribal sovereignty.”
The San Francisco Giants have been a champion of diversity and inclusion with many firsts in the league. They were the first professional sports team to dedicate a day to raising awareness for HIV/AIDS with their annual Until There’s A Cure Day; the first MLB team to wear pride colors in honor of the LGBTQ+ community; and the first MLB team to hire a full-time female coach.
“We are excited to welcome Mad River Brewery into our corporate partnership portfolio. Our organization is committed to promoting and celebrating our diverse community, and in partnering with Mad River, we can help give Indigenous peoples a presence beyond their borders,” said Jessica Santamaria, Director, Partnerships & Media, San Francisco Giants. “Working with Mad River Brewery represents a prioritization to highlight smaller, non-traditional brands alongside ours.”
The Giants also hold an annual Native American Heritage Night game each season to honor the rich history and culture of the Native American community.