As we head into the fleeting days of summer, hard seltzer–one of the season’s favorite tipples–remains a happy hour staple. Let’s take a closer look at the sponsorship strategies of the industry’s major players.
Truly dominates the crowded category both as the most searched hard seltzer brand by executives on the SponsorUnited platform over the last 12 months, as well as the leader in sponsorships. At more than 160, Truly’s current number of deals jumped nearly 50% from last year, and increased 105% versus 2020.
This year, the brand set its sights on concert venues and amphitheaters, which comprise 26% of its total deals. Within pro sports, the NHL is its top target: Truly has partnerships with 11 teams, and a deal with the league itself.
Here’s how the rest of the category stacks up behind Truly:
- Bud Light Seltzer
- White Claw Hard Seltzer
- Twisted Tea
- VIZZY Hard Seltzer
- Corona Hard Seltzer
- Mike’s Hard Lemonade
- High Noon Spirits
- Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer
Starting last spring, hard seltzer brands began gearing up for a festive summer with a sponsorship buying binge. A few notable deals:
- July: Simply Spiked Lemonade became a first-time official partner of ABC’s ESPY Awards, sponsoring the Best Male Athlete prize as well as the event’s official after-party.
- April: Twisted Tea partnered with its hometown team, the Boston Red Sox, to create a new, limited-edition flavor, “Sweet Cherry Lime.” The collaboration paid homage to Red Sox fans’ favorite 8th inning song, “Sweet Caroline.”
- March: Molson Coors reached a multiyear agreement with the Chicago White Sox, resuming its 30+-year partnership after a brief hiatus. The brewer’s Miller Lite and Leininkugel’s became the team’s official domestic and craft beer partners, and VIZZY its official hard seltzer partner.
Most hard seltzer sponsorships contain digital content, social posts, and interior venue signage. Venue entitlements–such as clubs, lounges, and restaurants–are also common among these brands within event venues. The Molson Coors deal, for example, includes naming rights of multiple spaces inside Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field, including Vizzy View Bar and Miller Lite Landing.