Paramount Network’s series Bar Rescue decided to rebuild a bar in Puerto Rico that was devastated by Hurricane Maria and Viacom’s ad sales team enlisted Bacardi and other sponsors to be part of the effort.
In addition to rebuilding the bar, the show ended up not only rebuilding the business, but a local community center, including a baseball field and basketball court, in the town of Loiza.
The episode, airing Sunday, calls attention to the devastation in Puerto Rico that remains a year after the storm.
In the episode, host Jon Taffer surveys the damage at El K’Rajo, which needs a roof, re-wiring and new equipment to replace equipment destroyed by salt water.
To get the job done, Taffer bring in friends including Mark Cuban, J.J. Barea, Bethenny Frankel, Luis Guzmán, Chef Jose Enrique, and Bernie Williams.
Recruited by Viacom’s ad sales team and the Viacom Velocity branded content unit, Bacardi is integrated into the episode.
The bars staff is taken on a tour of the Casa de Bacardi distillery, led by general manger Wesley Cullen.
Bacardi’s Master of Rums David Cid teaches the bar staff how to improve their rum drinks, including local favorites the Daiquiri and Pina Colada.
“We were honored to be a part of this special episode in Puerto Rico and to help the family and its community find its footing again,” said Ned Duggan, VP at Bacardi. “Puerto Rico is home for our beloved brand and home for many of our employees and their families, so any way that we can continue to give back and support the island community is extremely important to us.”
Since Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017, Bacardi has committed more than $2.5 million for disaster relief and recovery in Puerto Rico.
Other advertisers also donated services to the effort, with Spirit Airlines providing flights and on the ground supports and Home Depot, which gave construction materials and support.
“We’re always looking for seamless ways to integrate our partners into the new Paramount Network’s line-up of scripted and unscripted originals,” said Matthew Marcus, VP, integrated marketing, Viacom Velocity. “It was a natural fit for Bar Rescue to go to Puerto Rico and join forces with our many partners such as Bacardi who is part of the fabric of that community and has done so much to help out in the wake of last year’s hurricanes.”