SBD/April 9, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

David Beckham Partnering With Diageo To Develop New Scotch Whiskey Brand

Haig Club is Diageo's attempt to attract new drinkers into the whiskey category
Diageo has teamed up with David Beckham to launch Haig Club, a newly created Scotch that "showcases butterscotch and toffee," according to Peter Evans of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. It is Diageo's latest attempt "to attract new drinkers into the fast-growing whiskey category." Terms of the partnership -- including "any equity interest held" by Beckham -- were not disclosed. But Diageo said that Beckham "would help develop the brand, its strategy and positioning." The company is "planning a global launch for Haig Club later this year, with prices starting at around $65 a bottle." The brand will be "part of Diageo's House of Haig, Scotland's oldest grain whiskey distiller." Beckham and Diageo are "joined in the Haig Club partnership" by XIX Entertainment Founder Simon Fuller (WSJ.com, 4/8). AD AGE's E.J. Schultz noted Diageo's lead ad agency is Adam & Eve, while PMK-BNC will "handle PR and social." A Diageo spokesperson said Beckham will "appear in some of the advertising but not all" (ADAGE.com, 4/8). MARKETING WEEK's Sebastian Joseph noted Beckham, who has "never backed a spirits brand, will also lead" the scotch whiskey's responsible drinking program. Diageo is hoping Beckham's "star power can help boost whisky sales as it looks to create new revenue streams from the category" (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 4/8).
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