Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Best of Both Worlds: Boulevard and Sporting KC Announce Partnership

When soccer and beer collide... that's the best of both worlds. This space reserved for any intersection of the suds and the sport whether business, beer and soccer events, or random humor. 

Another beer and soccer angel got it wings today when Boulevard Brewing announced a partnership with their hometown soccer club, Sporting KC.

LIVESTRONG Park is one of Major League Soccer's newest and most impressive stadiums with few details overlooked, from members-only clubs to local BBQ served in-house, but one thing the facility lacked was quality craft beer options. The members' club boasted Weston Brewing Co.'s "Drop Kick" Amber Ale, but the rest of the stadium was relegated to macro-options like league sponsor Budweiser, Guinness, Blue Moon, and others.

The new deal dubbed, "Hometown Team-Hometown Beer" will bring one of Kansas City's most celebrated beers into Sporting's stadium and put several varieties of the local brew in the hands of fans.
From a billboard outside Boulevard’s brewery to posters with the Sporting Kansas City 2012 schedule in bars and restaurants to inserting $5 ticket discount coupons in 40,000 cases of Boulevard, the cross-promotional opportunities are lining up.

The official launch of Boulevard’s seasonal beers at parties to be held at the Member’s Club at LIVESTRONG and deals with KC's major supporters group, "The Cauldron" will see Boulevard beers at their tailgates and special supporters merchandise.

The news is another huge step forward for American soccer and craft beer. It follows deals inked in other beer-meccas like Portland and Seattle where teams have sought craft beers as partners.
Obviously this is our bread and butter, but it's important to spell out exactly what this means for the sport and for the suds.
1) American soccer fans and the teams that they support are valuable partners for any company. Soccer fans are exactly in Boulevard's target market: young, adult males and female.
“We felt Boulevard needs to be part of what we’re doing,” Andy Tretiak, Sporting Kansas City’s vice president of marketing.
We've got a young, emerging brand with a lot of momentum behind it and our demographic aligns with Boulevard.”

2) American soccer fans are massive consumers of beer and often, craft beer. Craft beer holds many of the same qualities that soccer possesses: subtlety, commitment, a blending of unique flavors towards a unified product. American soccer fans appreciate a quality soccer game and a quality beer.
“Our two brands have tremendous synergies and we look forward to a long term relationship that mutually extends our brands to both a local and regional audience,” said Bob Sullivan, Boulevard chief sales and marketing officer.

3) American soccer fans are passionate about their team before, during, and after matches and translate that passion into support for companies that support their team. A passionate soccer fan for Sporting KC is (or will become even more so) a passionate fan of Boulevard Beer. Their commitment to their team will transfer to a commitment to business connected to their team.
4) Kansas City-area newbies now have a unique, beer-related opportunity to check out their hometown club and Sporting supporters have an extra incentive in their FBM arsenal to lure potential newbies. "If Boulevard Beer can supporting American soccer... why not you? Come to the next Sporting match and you can have both!"
The Boulevard deal is another notch the in post for soccer and beer. The evidence continues to pile up that beer and soccer are as likely a pair as anything in sports and that a beer can open the door to a lifelong passion with soccer.
More people in Kansas City and the surrounding community are about to find out how true that is.

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"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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