“This is like a dream come true,” Bowman said.
The beer will be available at Warped Wing Taprooms starting Thursday, at UD Arena starting Sunday when the Flyers play Ohio State in an exhibition game and at various retail locations, local bars and restaurants starting Oct. 23.
Fly Light Lager came about when Bowman attended UD’s “Business of NIL Community Summit” at UD Arena in May. He heard Dayton Athletic Director Neil Sullivan and men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant speak and also heard from Matt Farrell, who runs Dayton 6th, a sports marketing agency representing UD athletes and helping them navigate the name, image and likeness territory.
That experience got Bowman’s thinking. Warped Wing was already working on creating a new low-calorie (95 to be exact), low-carb (5 grams) light lager. It decided to partner with Dayton 6th and then got the approval of Sullivan and Dayton President Eric Spina.
“Although NIL and Dayton 6th is separate from the university,” Bowman said, “having it blessed by the university is the way that I always wanted it to be and I think everybody wanted it to be.”
Fly Light Lager will be Warped Wing’s sixth flagship beer, joining Trotwood, Gamma Bomb, Flyer Red, RadioVision, and Plane ol’ Pils.
“This isn’t just another beer,” Farrell said. “This isn’t a seasonal product, and this isn’t a stunt marketing campaign. This a flagship product for them, and the hope is that this product becomes a leading product in the category.”
Although “a portion of the proceeds from all can sales and draft at the arena” will go to Dayton 6th, the athletes won’t appear in ads for Fly Light Lager or be pictured drinking the beer. What they will do — and what they’ve already done — is visit Warped Wing’s establishments and share photos of themselves there on social media.
Dayton star DaRon Holmes II and others did that earlier this month. Holmes shared a photo of himself on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, with teammates Kobe Elvis, Petras Padegimas, Nate Santos, Will Maxwell and Isaac Jack with two Dayton fans at the brewery’s Springboro location and wrote, “As always, I appreciate (Dayton 6th) taking care of me and my teammates. Tonight’s dinner at (Warped Wing) on an off day was much needed. And happy anniversary to this couple who celebrated 48 years today! … And they’re also (Dayton) season ticket holders!”
Holmes arrived at UD weeks before the NIL era began in 2021 and has taken advantage more than any UD athlete. He drives a car courtesy of the White-Allen Auto Group. He has entered into a paid partnership with Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken and All The Best Delicatessen. He has hosted a camp for kids at Sinclair Community College. And he’s part of a campaign with Learn to Earn Dayton, which is fighting chronic absenteeism in schools.