Coors Banquet donates $300K, launches ‘Protect Our West’ apparel to benefit Wildland Firefighter Foundation

With the American West on track for its worst wildfire season in at least 70 years, Coors Banquet is upping its annual support to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation with a $300,000 donation and the release of a branded T-shirt to help support the cause.

The donation, which builds on a seven-year relationship with the foundation, will go toward providing immediate assistance to wildland firefighters and their families amid a 2020 wildfire season that has burned some 7.5 million acres, killed at least 35 people, destroyed hundreds of structures and caused extreme air pollution that has threatened the health of millions.

“Right now, wildland firefighters are courageously stepping forward into the flames, protecting the West at all costs. We’ve got their backs, and we want to support them the best we can,” says Allison Miller, associate marketing manager for Coors Banquet. “We recognize that the foundation needs our support more than ever, and we’re grateful for the brave souls who do their part to protect our forests, the wildlife and people who live nearby.”

Coors Banquet also has created limited-edition Protect Our West T-shirts, which are available on the Coors Amazon shop for $21.99. All proceeds will be included in the brand’s donation.

Over the last seven years, Coors Banquet has donated $1.5 million to the nonprofit, which provides financial and educational support to injured or fallen wildland firefighters and their families. That’s coincided with a period in which wildfires in the American West have increased in frequency and severity. In the last 20 years, 13 states have recorded the worst wildfires in their history, and the threat of widespread wildfires is on the rise.

Coors Banquet, which was born in Golden, Colo., in 1873 and is brewed there exclusively to this day, has long embraced its western heritage. The brand has a long history of sustainability, and combating wildfires is one of the causes to which it lends support. The brand adopted the cause of the wildland firefighters in 2014 and embarked on its Protect Our West program the same year.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen wildfires become more devastating almost every year, and Coors Banquet will continue to look for ways to amplify our partnership with the Wildland Firefighters Foundation,” says Heidi Gilbertson, marketing manager for the brand. “That’s why this year, we’re increasing our donation and giving consumers a way to show their support, too, with a T-shirt where proceeds go toward this cause.”

The campaign, which launches this week, is promoted in Western states via out-of-home, radio, retail and digital advertising. The T-shirts are available nationwide.

It comes as Coors Banquet is on the rebound, up 3.5% in sales volume and 5.2% in sales dollars year-to-date through Sept. 19, outpacing the premium regular segment, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data.

An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.