SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Special Kind of Sponsor

SP Kennel is a successful business as well as our passion. In order to adequately train and appropriately care for our canine athletes and ourselves, both of us make the kennel a full time occupation during the winter months. Neither Aliy nor Allen works any outside jobs from November through March. The kennel is our sole focus. Donations from our kennel Sponsors and our summer income enable SP Kennel to operate successfully all winter long.

Our Sponsorship base has been incredibly supportive for many years. They are folks who truly care about racing dogs, the sport of dog mushing and SP Kennel. We are grateful for our Sponsors’ continuing involvement and enthusiasm, especially in these tough financial times. Sponsor support comes in many ways.

One of SP Kennel’s critical forms of Sponsorship is the "In Kind" Sponsor. These sponsors traditionally supply a product or a service to the Kennel, as opposed to a direct monetary donation. Some of our "In Kind" Sponsors supply products that need to be field-tested. We use the products throughout the season and report on the product effectiveness. Other "In Kind" Sponsors provide products or services necessary for the operation of our kennel. These sponsors ask only that we run a professional and honest business and acknowledge their donation.

SP Kennel thanks the following "In Kind" Sponsors for their support and enthusiasm:

Pleasant Valley Store, our local Two Rivers "Mom and Pop" general store has given us an "In Kind" fuel sponsorship. Our dog trucks will log over 5,000 miles traveling around Alaska to various sled dog races. Since ‘all trails lead to Pleasant Valley Store’, it’s always a convenient stop! Thanks, Pleasant Valley Store, for being such a great champion of the sport of mushing in our community. http://www.pleasantvalleystore.net/

Nor’West Company, a network of web sites relating to Interior Alaska, hosts our SP Kennel web site. Our thanks to Swanny, Nor’West Company’s proprietor, who is always available to answer detailed, technical web questions and to make suggestions. Check out the new and improved web site by clicking on the link above. http://www.norwestcompany.net/

Jim Harrison from Northern Outfitters visited SP Kennel in October. At that time, he fit both Allen and Aliy for new, extreme temperature performance wear. Northern Outfitters’ Vaetrex clothing is recognized as the most efficient insulation material currently available. Allen has successfully used this product for several years. Aliy will also be using this clothing system during this racing season.

Sporthill Clothing has provided Aliy and Allen with winter performance clothing for many years. Sporthill gear suits the range of Alaska temperatures and is both stylish and durable.

Hawthorn Suites, in downtown Anchorage, will again be providing rooms for SP Kennel for several days prior to the Iditarod Start. Our entire "Pit Crew" stays in beautiful, comfy suites and the SP Kennel dogs are given a special and secure roped off area of the Hawthorn Suites parking lot. Having a cozy place to stay prior to 1,000 miles of wilderness is critical to our success.

Dr. Jean Battig performs pre race physical exams on SP Kennel racers.

Dr. Jean Battig, of Chena Ridge Veterinary Clinic in Fairbanks, has been our dear friend and kennel veterinarian for years. She has been instrumental in keeping our canine athletes healthy through training and racing. She is always there for advice and suggestions. Jean has traveled to Nome to greet the team as it crossed the finish line. She has been our partner during times of great success and times of great sadness. She is truly a member of the family. Thanks, Jean.

Our largest "In Kind" Sponsor is Eagle Holistic Natural Pet Foods. Our dogs have achieved tremendous success while eating Eagle Pack foods for over 10 years. This season the company has created a new formula for their high energy performance dog food. As an "In Kind" Sponsor, Eagle Pack sent us a ton of this new dog kibble. We have chosen 15 dogs, of different ages and metabolisms, to field-test the new product. We continually update the Eagle Pack staff Veterinarian about the effects of this new food. Our comments and recommendations will help shape the final formula. We understand that the new product will be available on the market in November.

Aliy packs bags of Eagle Holistic Dog Food into Iditarod drop bags.

We are so grateful to all our Sponsors. We couldn’t successfully operate our business (our passion!) without both our monetary and In Kind Sponsors. But we also would be much poorer without the sponsors who give their physical labor, the sponsors that give valued advice and wisdom, the sponsors who keep us in their thoughts and prayers throughout the racing season. We are all part of the SP Kennel Family.

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