June 16th, 2021 by Amelia Lucas. From CNBC. 

Smirnoff Vodka owner Diageo has signed a multiyear deal with the NFL to become the league’s first spirits sponsor.

While the National Football League has long had relationships with beer brands like Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light, it has been slower to embrace spirits. However, when the ban on distillers to advertise was lifted, a campaign from Diageo’s Crown Royal whisky was the first spirits commercial to air during a national Football League.

Nana-Yaw Asamoah, vice president of business development and sponsorship for the NFL said: “What they’ve done from a responsibility standpoint to us, really stood head and shoulders above other spirit companies in the marketplace”.

Since the repeal of Prohibition, the spirits industry has regulated its own advertising and marketing with voluntary guidelines for distillers. For example, the code requires that spirits producers advertise only on TV programs where at least 71.6% of the audience is at least 21 years old. Spirits’ higher alcohol content carries a taboo that separates it from beer and wine in the eyes of some watchdogs, who want even stricter standards for hard liquor, citing concerns about underage consumers viewing those ads.

Diageo North America Chief Marketing Officer Ed Pilkington said in an interview that the company will continue to focus on responsible drinking as part of its partnership with the NFL.

Nonetheless, Diageo also got the international rights. The NFL has been trying to expand its fanbase overseas with several international games every season in London and Mexico City. For the upcoming season, the league is planning to hold two games in London.

“We’re excited for that as well, especially for our international brands like Captain and Smirnoff, which are big brands in the U.K. and that links over there as well,” Pilkington said.

Not only, The company is also sponsoring the NFL’s annual Fan of the Year contest this year.

“We’ll make sure to do it in a really holistic way,” Pilkington said.

To read the full article, click on the following link: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/16/diageo-becomes-first-spirits-company-to-sign-sponsorship-deal-with-nfl.html

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