April 21, 2017 (Agua Dulce, Calif.): Live. Purposeful. That is the tagline for Baja United Group, the newly formed company by Jim Riley (President, Baja United Group) and Steve Jugan CEO, Baja United Group). The two industry experts have over 60 years of combined experience in the beverage and spirits sector (Ketel One Vodka, Azunia Tequila, Monster Energy, Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon) that they will help use to successfully navigate the direction of this new venture. In addition to their shared knowledge of the beverage space, the two men also share a bond for the love of Baja Mexico and all the wonderful experiences it can provide. Aside from his recent role as Founder and CEO of Intersect Beverage/Azuñia Tequila, Riley is a professional off-road racing driver with numerous Baja 1000 races under his belt. Jugan has also spent over 20 years south of the border enjoying surf trips and off-road racing throughout the Baja peninsula. For the last several both Riley and Jugan have been involved in various charitable efforts to help support orphanages as well as other Baja residents in need of resources. It was here that the Jugan and Riley saw an opportunity to combine their experiences, connections, and passions into one united effort. With that, the Baja United Group was enthusiastically created.

The initial strategy of the company will have a focus on importing wines from the Valle de Guadalupe region of Baja Mexico into the United States for retail and online sales. The group has developed a partnership with 5 top wineries from the region, which has been widely recognized as an emerging player in the wine industry and called “the next Napa” by the Los Angeles Times. Through the sales and distribution of various Valle de Guadalupe wines, Baja United Group will also promote the region through tours of the area wineries to enthusiastic members of the American wine community. Integral to this new venture is the founder of Corona de Valle wines, Hector Corona. His winery gained worldwide attention when their wine was included on the menu of the exclusive French Laundry restaurant in San Francisco.

(above) Baja United Group founders Steve Jugan (left) and Jim Riley (right) with Victor (lower photo, center) who is founding partner of Las Nubes.

To help with the strategic and creative approach for Baja United Group, the founder of Blue C Advertising Eric Morley will head up all marketing strategy and branding efforts. Eric played in important part of this company, as he was the one who initially introduced Jim and Steve many years ago through their common passion of off-road racing in Baja. Eric and his team have been involved with many similar philanthropic efforts in Mexico and both his and Blue C’s involvement with this new company was a clear choice. With the upcoming launch of this exciting new company, Baja United Group aims to expand into more areas of expertise with the goal to: Live. Purposeful.



Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, as well as modern desert Rally Raid cars, pre-runner trucks, buggies and motorcycles.

Pearlman's late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970's.

The 2017 NORRA Mexican 1000 is supported by Yokohama, Method Race Wheels, Walker Evans Racing, South Point Hotel Casino, Bilstein Shock Absorbers, Multitool USA, Mastercraft/Impact Safety, P.C.I. Race Radios, Baja United Group and many more.