An unprecedented AFL partnership gives Colonial Brewing Company in-ground signage at Essendon home games, with its beers and ciders available at the club’s events and functions.
Carlton & United Breweries downgraded its sponsorship of the AFL ahead of the 2017 season, giving clubs the freedom to negotiate individually with breweries.
Colonial snapped up the chance to become Essendon’s Official Beer and Cider Partner for the 2017 season.
“It’s a bit of a window that I’m sure is going to close next year,” Colonial general manager Lawrence Dowd told Brews News.
“They didn’t have anybody filling this space, so we said ‘can we step up a little bit here, but we don’t have the money to spend on crazy partnership deals that cost a fortune’.”
“We’re looking at a second year option, but if the big guys come in and swoop they’ll block everybody,” he said.
CUB still retains exclusive pourage at the MCG, but Colonial’s brand will feature on LED signage at Essendon home games.
“We had some LED banners on the Anzac Day game. I don’t think any local craft brewery has shown ads at an AFL game, so it was a bit of a moment,” he said.
Colonial was also able to serve its beers and ciders at the Culinary Chairman’s Function on Anzac Day.
Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell commented: “We are constantly looking at ways to offer our members, supporters and broader network with the best possible experience at Essendon functions and events and we also understand the growing appetite for craft beers and cider.”
The partnership has also seen Colonial back the club’s #FridayFootyPanel podcast, which will now be recorded at the brewery.
The Port Melbourne venue is also the official location for Essendon supporters to gather and watch the club’s interstate matches.