Code Switch Live: Event Sponsorship with Russell’s Reserve Bourbon

December 2022

Through the support of sponsors, NPR Presents is able to push the boundaries of interactive audience engagement at live events.

Sponsor Russell’s Reserve Bourbon worked with NPR sponsorship to activate the November 2 live taping of Code Switch, NPR’s podcast that tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. At the historic Studebaker Theater in downtown Chicago, Russell’s Reserve connected with NPR’s listeners through a venue buyout, sampling their product to interested A21+ guests at the venue’s three bars.


tickets sold


attendants at VIP reception


of attendees were satisfied with the event*

*the attendee rated their satisfaction with the event a 5 on a scale of 1-5. Source: Post Event Survey Responses

Hear the Episode

Celebrating Chicago

Throughout the taping, Code Switch brought several artists, actors, and reporters on stage to represent the city of Chicago. These guests included South Side’s Sultan Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle; poet José Olivarez; singer and songwriter KAINA; and WBEZ reporter, Adriana Cardona-Maguidad. In conversation with  these guests, the hosts of Code Switch explored the topic of home in an interactive way.

Comments From Event Attendees

“My favorite part of the event was the appreciation for the diversity of Chicago. This event couldn’t have happened without the beautiful mix of people here.” 


“I appreciated the great venue, delightful free libations, helpful & knowledgeable venue staff and a solid musical performance at the event.”


“I loved that the show had a great variety of voices and segments, with good level of relevance to Chicago. The free cocktail was also nice!”


Sponsor Alignment

Russell’s Reserve Bourbon seamlessly integrated its brand identity with event programming as folks sipped on batch cocktails and samples of bourbon during the show and attended a sponsor-branded post-event reception. The event offered guests 21+ two free drink tickets. Audience members redeemed these tickets at the venue’s bars that were customized to reflect Russell’s Reserve. In addition to sponsorship of the event, National Public Media worked with Russell’s Reserve to create and distribute a high-impact media campaign, reaching 500K households from September to December of 2022 across platforms.

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