The maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey says it's dropping its long-running sponsorship of Alaska's 1,000-mile (1,610 kilometer) race.

The action by Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman follows a tough year for race organizers who have faced financial hardships, loss of other sponsors and the first-ever dog doping scandal.

Jack Daniel's spokesman Svend Jansen said in a statement the company decided to go in a different direction by shifting most of its marketing efforts to a partnership with the National Basketball Association.

He said a campaign against the Iditarod by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had nothing to do with its decision.

PETA lauded the action, saying the company did "the right thing." PETA says it first contacted Jack Daniel's following the deaths of five dogs connected with the 2017 race.

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