On what would have been Frank Sinatra's 97th birthday, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and Frank Sinatra Enterprises unveiled the first "Sinatra Experience," an interactive tasting and listening experience at Las Vegas' McCarren International Airport. The installation is the first in a series of planned visits to global airports to promote the new Jack Daniels Sinatra Select, currently available as a travel retail exclusive.
"Frank and Jack literally spent years flying around the globe together; wherever Frank went, Jack Daniel's was by his side," Jim Perry, manager of Jack Daniels' parent Brown-Forman's Travel Retail division, said in a statement. "Along with our retail partner, Nuance, we are very excited about the Las Vegas airport installation. We feel that our airport installation will engage consumers in the story of the great friendship between Frank and Jack as well as educate them about the unique craftsmanship of this exclusive whiskey."
Robert Finkelstein, co-chairman of Frank Sinatra Enterprises, called the partnership "a very natural outgrowth" of Sinatra's long relationship with Jack Daniels from his early days in the 1950s through his final years in the 1990s. "Often at the end of his concert, when he gave a toast to people he's day, "May you all live to be 100 years and the last voice you hear be mine," Finkelstein told Billboard. "He used to call it Daniels, not Jack. And if you went to dinner, there'd be a bottle of Jack Daniel's on the table and glasses with about half-full of ice and he would generally pour it right form the table."
Though Sinatra had an unpaid personal affinity for the brand in his lifetime, the Jack Daniel's deal represents the first financial arrangement between Sinatra Enterprises and Brown-Furman. Finkelstein was light on providing specific deal points, but said "the terms are fair and equitable for both parties. It's not a deal that would have fallen apart over financial terms. Both are happy with it - it's not something that's out for bid."
Teaming with Jack Daniel's is the latest in a series of selective partnerships honoring Sinatra's legacy, from an ongoing collection of catalog reissues with Sinatra's old labels like Reprise/Warner and Capitol to a "Siriusly Sinatra" station on Sirius XM Radio. "Sinatra seems to be omnipresent in the culture, and we really are focused on whatever is organic with Frank Sinatra," Finkelstein says. "The number of relationships in the Frank Sinatra world, compared to what you might look at as other licensing, is very, very small. So it's not about looking to keep Frank Sinatra in the culture in an artificial way, it's the things that come from it naturally. Things that are done with movies, television, we get requests all the time. We even get requests for esoteric Frank Sinatra songs, too."
The Sinatra Select whiskey was hand-selected by Jack Daniel's master distiller Jeff Arnett, who created "Sinatra barrels" to give the drink a bolder character and darker amber color by exposing it to extra layer of wood on the barrels' inner surface. The 90-proof spirit is also characterized by oak and spice notes and a smooth vanilla finish.