No matter how much you love your football, if you’re even a little bit interested in beer as something other than a thoughtless wallpaper to your sport, this is not a cause of celebration. This release could easily have been subtitled, No Relief For Beer Lovers.
As we noted when CUB signed a deal snaring the sponsorship rights for the Queensland Reds, these deals are all about brands not sport. They’re not even about beer. The funds undoubtedly provide assistance to sporting clubs and the code, but at the end of the day CUB and Lion Nathan are locked into a battle for market share and sports fans are the territory they aim to annexe. These sponsorships are about creating an emotional brand attachment and about pourage rights.
Creating an emotion link to a favourite team or code is one thing, but at a time when beer consumption is at near record lows, chaining consumers to the same tired brands that they are turning away from in order to try and get some share-of-throat advantage over your rival just seems stupid.
At least when Lion Nathan or Fosters sign tap contracts, pubs have access to the James Squire and Matilda bay ranges through whoever they deal with to provide a modicum of interest. Their very good craft brands offer something to the newer generation beer drinker who looks for something more in their beer. These sponsorship deals are just about a brand, not beer. Sure, it’s a business – but brewers should decide whether they are in the beer business or the brands business. Having been along to a XXXX State of Origin Lunch in the past, the beers on offer are XXXX Gold, XXXX Bitter and XXXX Summer Bright Lager. Not even Squire’s Sundowner Lager because while that might benefit the company, it doesn’t benefit the XXXX brand.
While only midstrength beer can be served at the football these days, the craft world has shown that interesting and flavourful midstrength beer is possible. If they don’t want to shamelessly rip off another brewer’s idea, and I can’t see why that would be as it is regularly done while calling it innovation, Lion Nathan has a passive 40 per cent stake in Little Creatures, maker of Rogers’ Ale, one of the best midstrength beers easily obtainable on the market. They won’t use it though, it’s not XXXX. While the beer drinking football lover might appreciate the choice, the captive audience they are targeting may discover something new and interesting in the world of beer hat may keep them within the category and they may make some money out of it to boot, it doesn’t enhance ‘the brand’. Instead, they continue to reinforce to the dwindling number of beer drinkers that dross is all that beer can offer them.
Oh, and “Go the Maroons.”
XXXX today announced it would continue its major sponsorship of the three NRL teams in Queensland, and will sign three year deals with the Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans.
The announcement complements XXXX’s ongoing sponsorship of the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) and Queensland State of Origin team.
Bill Webb, Lion Regional Director said the announcement confirmed XXXX’s ongoing commitment to rugby league in Queensland, which has spanned more than 20 years.
“We are passionate supporters of rugby league in this state and to be able to once again partner with these fantastic clubs and continue our support of the QRL and the Maroons is very exciting,” said Webb.
“Rugby League goes to the heart of so many of us. Whether we’re playing for our local club, cheering on our favourite NRL team or proudly kitting ourselves out in maroon come State of Origin, it’s a sport that unites Queensland, week in week out,” Webb said.
Today’s announcement was made at the Queensland State of Origin camp at Coolum, with Darren Lockyer, Ashley Harrison, Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith, on hand to represent their Clubs and the Queensland team.
Paul White, Brisbane Broncos CEO said: “This deal will take our partnership with XXXX to over 20 years, which is an amazing achievement for both parties in the competitive world of sponsorship today.
“XXXX are one of our strongest sponsors and the two distinctly Queensland brands fit together perfectly. We are delighted to be continuing this association,” said White.
XXXX was a founding sponsor of both the Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys.
“We are thrilled to be extending our partnership with one of Queensland’s most iconic brands,’’ said Titans Managing Director Michael Searle.
“XXXX have been great supporters of the club since our inaugural season in 2007 so it’s exciting to be able to continue that relationship,’’ Searle said.
North Queensland Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said: “The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys are delighted that XXXX have again signed on as major sponsor of our club.
“Our relationship with XXXX, one of Queensland’s iconic brands, is very important to us.
“XXXX have been a loyal partner of the Cowboys from the very beginning, assisting us with our bid to join the national competition in 1995 and for almost two decades since.
“As we approach our 20th season, we are grateful for their ongoing support and look forward to our successful association continuing for many years to come,” said Jourdain.