SBD/August 9, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Beer Crafted After Real Salt Lake G Nick Rimando A Hot Seller At Rio Tinto Stadium

Rimando will get a percentage of sales if his beer reaches certain thresholds
MLS Real Salt Lake G Nick Rimando had a beer crafted after him by Utah-based Epic Brewing Company in March as part of a marketing deal, and it now is one of the better-selling brews at Rio Tinto Stadium. The wheat beer, entitled "Rimando's Wit," is currently the seventh best-selling brew at Rio Tinto. The drink prominently features Rimando on its label and sells at Rio Tinto for $5.50 (small) and $8.75 (large). Exact details of Rimando's deal with Epic were not disclosed, but he will receive a percentage of sales from his beer's profits if they reach certain thresholds. Epic typically brews high-gravity beers, but in creating its Unsacred Brewing line -- which features lower-gravity beers so its product could be sold at more places in Utah -- it decided to team up with Rimando, whose profile in the city is high. Epic Brewing Company National Sales Manager Michael Malachowski said, "With soccer being as big as it is in Salt Lake nowadays, myself and one of the owners thought, 'Why don't we see if Nick wants to have his own beer?'" The process of getting the beer sold at Rio Tinto was made difficult because Unsacred is not affiliated with league sponsor Anheuser Busch nor Uinta, the stadium's current craft beer supplier. RSL President Bill Manning said that the club received approval from A-B and Uinta to sell Rimando's Wit at the stadium after it assured the companies that the beer would not be marketed on the premises in any shape or form. Malachowski confirmed the move was unusual and added that the company's product almost certainly would not have landed at Rio Tinto had Manning and Rimando not personally gotten involved. Rimando said, "They pulled some strings and got it in there."

SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES: Both Rimando and Manning referred to the idea of selling the brew at the stadium as a "no-brainer," and sales thus far show why. Not only is the beer doing well at Rio Tinto, but it also is the best-selling of the four Unsacred beers at retail. Epic does not currently have any plans to expand distribution of Rimando's Wit to other markets, but Malachowski said that could change if demand warrants it. Malachowski added that the company is generally pleased with the association thus far, and Rimando echoed those sentiments. "Still to this day, I'm getting people sending me pictures of them purchasing beers at the store with my face on the beer," Rimando said. "People ask me where they can get it, and multiple stores that I go to say they're already sold out of it, so I think it's been a success so far. I think it's a great deal to have in this market."
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