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Mountain Dew gets behind drone racing through DR1 tie-up

Soft drinks brand Mountain Dew has entered into a global sponsorship deal with drone racing organisation DR1 Racing in what is termed the first branded partnership for the emerging sport.

Featuring the top drone racing pilots in the world, the DR1 Racing series will be headlined by the DR1 Invitational presented by Mountain Dew, which will be held this August. DR1 will also be the first truly live drone series to stream globally on Twitch, the world's leading social video platform and community for gamers.

The DR1 Invitational will showcase 12 of the world’s top drone racing pilots as they compete at the Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles this summer. Pilots, who control drones from the top of the dam, will face environmental and man-made obstacles as they fly their drones at speeds of more than 80mph. Over the course of two days, the race will be broken up into heats, qualifiers and finals.

Mountain Dew is a PepsiCo brand and the DR1 Invitational will also be backed by stable-mates Amp Energy and Doritos.

“We wanted to get in early and make sure we put our stamp on it,” Manos Spanos, senior director of global brand marketing for Mountain Dew, told US newspaper Variety. “Drone racing, right now, is evolving. It’s changing. The rules around racing and drones are being drawn up as we speak and that’s where we want to fit – where things are still shaping up.”