White Castle, home of The Original Slider, and USA Luge, the national governing body for the sport of luge, have renewed their partnership through 2023. The nation’s two foremost “slider” experts announced the two-year extension today.
White Castle kicked off its partnership with USA Luge in 2017, becoming the first and only fast-food restaurant to serve as an official sponsor of the organization and the title sponsor of its off-season recruitment program, the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search. This program, which launched in 1985, has introduced the sport of luge to more than 25,000 kids across the U.S., including over 1,500 just since 2017.
To kick off the renewed sponsorship, USA Luge and White Castle will introduce a video series called “The Making of a Slider,” which features seven videos focusing on different aspects of luge racing and the importance of developing a healthy mindset for achieving goals. The videos will be released one at a time over the next several months on White Castle’s and USA Luge’s websites and social media accounts as a way to generate interest in both the sport and the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search clinics. The first video about the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search can be viewed here.
“The partnership with USA Luge is a natural fit because we’re both in the slider business,” says Jamie Richardson, a vice president at White Castle. “We’re honored to help introduce the next generation of athletes to this exciting sport through the annual off-season recruitment program and now with this new video series. COVID has been tough on everyone, and having something positive for young athletes to focus on is a great way we can help feed the souls of craver generations everywhere.”
With support from White Castle’s restaurant and retail grocery divisions, USA Luge takes its summer and fall recruitment tours to cities coast to coast. Children age 9 through 13 can attend the free clinics, where U.S. Olympic and National Team coaches and athletes teach the basics of riding a luge sled. Participants get the opportunity to ride down paved tracks on wheel-equipped luge sleds. Those who show promise are considered for the USA Luge National Development Team.
“The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search program has been instrumental in raising awareness of the sport, driving interest among young athletes and providing the talent pool for future competitors who will represent us all at the Winter Games,” says Gordy Sheer, USA Luge director of marketing and sponsorships and the 1998 Olympic silver medalist in the sport. “The partnership with White Castle has been very successful, and we’re thrilled to continue it.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Luge reduced the number of stops on its recruitment tour in 2020 but still held some clinics using new safety protocols to protect the health of participants. Plans for this year are still in progress.
Luge has been an Olympic sport since 1964. Commonly referred to as “sliders,” luge athletes slide down a track of ice on sleds, feet first, at speeds reaching 90 miles an hour. The USA Luge team has won six Olympic medals and almost 600 medals in elite-level and junior-level international competitions since 1994.