ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Organizers of Alaska's 1,000-mile Iditarod say an Anchorage business has become a sponsor of the famed sled dog race.

The addition of Anchorage Distillery follows a challenging time for race officials who have faced the loss of major sponsors, financial hardships and the first-ever dog doping scandal.

In June, the maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey said it was dropping its long-running sponsorship. The race lost Wells Fargo bank as a major sponsor last year.

Race organizers have blamed pressure from animal rights activists, who have long criticized the Iditarod as running the dogs to death.

Anchorage Distillery CEO Bob Klein said the loss of sponsors gave his company the opportunity to join the race. He says the company is proud to be part of an "incredibly Alaskan" event.