Steam Whistle adds Vans to its deck party

The beer co amps up its annual Design-A-Deck campaign by inviting Calgarian participants to decorate sneakers as well as skateboards.

Steam Whistle has teamed up with Vans to celebrate skateboarding DIY style.
Its annual Design-A-Deck contest hits a demo a little younger than the beer co’s core of craft beer-drinking dudes aged 25 to 35 years old, says Meghan Mesheau, field brand manager, Steam Whistle Brewing, establishing awareness so that once they hit the age range where premium beer is affordable, they’ll come back to the brand.
The contest, which invites Canadians to submit a skateboard concept incorporating the Steam Whistle brand, is now in its third year in Calgary, where it originated, and second in Toronto.
New this year, a chosen few get to design a pair of Vans shoes that mesh aesthetically with their board. Initiated in Calgary, the Vans element will be exported to Toronto if it’s a success.
“We wanted to create events that we own, and legitimately support artists,” says Mesheau. “Attaching it to the skateboard culture, and including Vans, was another great extension of this.”
Since the program began, it’s resulted in greater brand awareness in both markets, Mesheau says, with a 30% increase in submissions in Toronto since 2009.
Selected artists will be given a blank deck on which to apply their design for resubmission by Nov. 14, and will be awarded $150 and have their designs displayed on Steam Whistle’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages, with decks showcased in Steam Whistle licensed bars and restaurants.