Friday, May 7, 2010

Beringer: Official Wine of the PGA Tour

Thanks to the good offices of, I was able to attend the first day's play of the 2010 Players Championship -- one of the premier PGA Tour events -- as a guest of Beringer, the now "official wine of the PGA Tour."  The announcement of the partnership, posted on, the official site of the PGA Tour, designates Beringer as the official wine of the PGA, Champions, and Nationwide tours.

The effect of the partnership was in full view at the Players Championship yesterday.  First, Beringer supported its guests with a fully stocked hospitality tent located in the Sawgrass Suites directly across from the 16th tee.  In the tent, guests were treated to the full range of Foster's (Beringer's parent company) and Beringer products.  The food offerings were anchored by a Halibut with Jeweled Rice and a Blackened Pork Loin.  Second, Beringer had a wine bar at the Benefactor, a high-visibility, large-format hospitality tent overlooking the 16th green and the arena around the 17th hole.  Third, at all other venues where wine was being sold, inclusive of the clubhouse, Beringer was the only brand available.


On one of my many return trips to the Beringer tent, I was able to speak to Matt Foley, Brand Manager, Beringer, about his company's association with the PGA Tour.  According to Matt, the partnership with the PGA Tour covers 12 premier events including the US Open, one of the four majors, and The Players, variously described as the fifth major.  The partnership was initially rolled out at the Northern Trust Open which ran from February 4 -7 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades (CA).

According to Matt, the program is designed to: (i) increase brand awareness among the golf demographic; (ii) associate the brand with the lifestyle; (iii) provide a vehicle for promotional activities in event cities; and (iv) engage golf fans with Beringer.  Seventy percent of the people who watch golf also drink wine so, from Beringer's perspective, it makes sense to engage them in a brand conversation.  The program's success will be measured by bumps in sales in areas where it is implemented  as well as through customer feedback.

Between visits to the wine well at the Beringer's hospitality tent, I watched a few holes of golf.  I followed Tiger for five holes and he seemed none the worse for wear.

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