Surely, you have seen the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge pull their flashy Dew Tour fleet up to a ski area near you. A team of energetic Dew disciples, plastered with Mountain Dew logos, set up huge inflatable soda cans, tents, and coolers full of drinks. Throughout the day, The Crew amps up the crowd with music, free soda, trivia games and a dual slalom race. The race is free, prizes are awarded at day’s end, and the theme of the event is “fun”. But there is more to this soft drink giveaway day than meets the eye.
“It’s not just a fun race or a day of prizes at each ski resort. We are all about bringing wholesome fun to kids and their families,” said Frank Tansey, of PepsiCo. Tansey has been promoting the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge for two decades. The Dew Tour has been going for over 20 years, and thousands of free sodas. Okemo Mountain in Vermont is typically the kickoff resort for the winter tour, as has become tradition for the 30+ ski area schedule which ends at Loon in March.
Tansey said his Crew is trained to bring much more than a fun family race to each resort, “Our Dew Crew interacts with the kids during the event, talking to them about how important it is to do the right thing, to listen to mom and dad, even make their bed. Our Dew Crew shows kids that it’s cool to be polite, to work hard in school and to always do your best, not just in the race gates.”
Tansey explained that kids are encouraged to bring their report cards to the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge. If report cards show A’s, kids will be rewarded with prizes. “The kids feel good about the conversations they have with the Dew Crew, and of course the prizes they win,” said Tansey. “Parents appreciate the reinforcement they get from our crew for all the things they are constantly telling their kids about good grades, keeping their rooms clean.”
Tansey’s impact on young kids and teen goes beyond the Mountain Dew races each weekend, as PepsiCo works closely with the Make a Wish Foundation. Tansey also makes a point of hiring kids that benefit from his mentoring. “When I was young, I was headed on the wrong path, so if I can help kids now by making them part of our team, and showing them the way to be productive and positive, then I am so glad that I can do that.”
You should do The Dew this year with your kids. The race is fun and free, and the benefits go beyond free soda.