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Archive for March, 2014

 

Mar 28 2014

SIM Program Alum Helps Create Team-Branded Beer

by at 11:35 am


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Written By: Aaron McCollum

From the start of the organized sports era, there was beer.   Beginning as early as the late 1800’s, beer companies began to figure out the possibilities behind linking sports with their products.  In today’s world, some of the most visible sponsors between a corporation and a league are the alcohol partnerships.  One such partnership was created by Georgetown University SIM alumnus Andrew Minucci (’10) and the local craft brewery DC Brau.

“The idea came about pretty organically as we became aware DC Brau were fans of D.C. United through some promotions they were doing at the brewery,” said Minucci, who is the Marketing Manager for D.C. United.  “I gave their CEO Brandon Skall a call and the project kind of organically arose from that conversation.”

DC United Beer

What arose from that conversation was a D.C. United themed beer and a marketing promotion to let fans “brand the brew.”  After over 700 original names were submitted by fans, “The Tradition” was chosen as the name of the new brew.  It was initially released to just the club’s official bar partners, but the 1000 gallons of special release beer quickly sold out after two weeks.  Due to the immense popularity, Minucci and DC Brau met to discuss a second phase to the project: a team branded beer can.

As the first sports team-themed can of its kind, Minucci and D.C. United once again looked to the creativity of the fans for the winning design.  According to Minucci, over 1,300 fans voted for their favorite can design, and the beer is now available in bars and retail throughout Washington, D.C.

“The goal was to raise awareness of the beginning of our season to casual sports fans and craft beer drinkers across the city,” said Minucci.  “We have heard great feedback from our fans and been picked up by a number of national media outlets including Esquire magazine.”

DC United Beer #2

Each can of The Tradition includes the 2014 season schedule and a link to purchase tickets to the club’s matches.  The club is currently preparing for their annual “Have A Beer On Us” night in which fans can purchase a game ticket for $27 and have a free 12oz. cup of The Tradition.

Minucci and DC Brau may have started a tradition of their own.  On March 21, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced a multiyear partnership with Pittsburgh Brewing Company in which the brewer will produce Pirates-themed cans through this summer in the Pittsburgh area.  The Cincinnati Reds also announced the opening of an 85-foot-long bar at their stadium featuring national and local microbrewers.

Who knows what the next step will be in the process.  But as the craft beer trend continues to take hold in the sports industry, sports marketers such as Minucci are realizing the marketing possibilities which combine two highly visible industries.

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