USA: Spirits Replacing Beer as Sponsors at Major Sporting Events

In 2022, spirits surpassed beer in market share in the United States, prompting spirits brands to increase their involvement in sports sponsorships. Major sports leagues such as the NHL, MLB, NBA, and NFL have entered sponsorship agreements with liquor companies. These sponsorships are viewed as effective strategies for expanding brand recognition and attracting new customers. Considering the rising costs of NFL tickets, sponsoring events like these provides spirit companies with access to a high-end consumer base that has extra disposable income.

A recent example of this trend is Kevin Hart's tequila brand, Gran Coramino, which inked a sponsorship deal with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. This partnership includes stadium signage, branded bars, and digital platform marketing. Kevin Hart, an American comedian and actor, has deep roots as a lifelong Eagles fan and a native of Philadelphia.

The Eagles are aiming to capitalize on the recent surge in popularity of celebrity spirits brands and the increasing demand for tequila, as more and more American drinkers switch from beer to liquor. Gran Coramino represents the most recent high-end spirits brand attempting to expand its market presence through partnerships with sports leagues or teams, as the traditional association between beer and sports diminishes.

Kevin Hart expressed his optimism about sales growth primarily driven by heightened awareness. He believes that this awareness will extend beyond the stadium's confines and into the broader consumer market. Hart's hope is that people will develop a fondness for the product, leading them to purchase it for consumption at home.

In May 2022, Kevin Hart and tequila producer Juan Domingo Beckmann, an 11th-generation expert andthe chief executive officer of José Cuervo, unveiled their highly anticipated new tequila brand, Gran Coramino. This offering is a Reposado Cristalino 100% agave tequila that undergoes initial aging in eastern European oak barrels and is finished in California Cabernet wine casks.

According to data compiled by the Distilled Spirits Council earlier this year, spirits sales in the U.S. reached a total of USD 37.58 billion last year, narrowly surpassing beer sales at USD 37.46 billion. Spirits held a market share of 42.1%, slightly ahead of beer's share at 41.9%, as indicated by the data.

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