SBJ/Dec. 7-13, 2015/Marketing and Sponsorship

Would you like wine with that Super Bowl?

Add Bordeaux wine to the list of licensed products carrying the Super Bowl 50 logo. With the Super Bowl’s San Francisco location indicating that much of the focus will be on food and wine, the NFL is licensing a Super Bowl wine for the first time.

Napa Valley’s Freemark Abbey Winery and Wine By Design are teaming to produce and market Super Bowl Fiftieth Reserve, a 2013 Bordeaux blend, priced at $100 a bottle. The “limited, one-of-a kind, small production wine,” which will feature the NFL’s now familiar gold 50th anniversary logo and the Vince Lombardi Trophy, will go on sale this week in the San Francisco market and online at www.Fiftiethreserve.com/SuperBowl.

Additional distribution is pending, but it will include Bay Area-spirits retailers, hotels, restaurants and Super Bowl 50 site Levi’s Stadium, along with limited distribution in other markets. The wine also will be sold in the merchandise store at the NFL Experience within San Francisco’s Moscone Center, where for the first time wine tasting will be held amid the T-shirts, jerseys, hoodies and caps for sale.

The league has licensed wine accessories, such as stemware, corkscrews, coolers, totes and helmet-shaped wine bottle holders, for some time, but this is the first time it has licensed the Super Bowl trademark to a wine producer.

“With the Super Bowl 50th anniversary, it just felt like the right year to do this,” said Leo Kane, NFL senior vice president of consumer products. “Nothing says Northern California like a fine bottle of wine.”

NFL policies permit licensing for commemorative wines, like Super Bowl Fiftieth Reserve and the Jets Uncorked cabernet sauvignon launched in 2010. Kane said a decision regarding any future Super Bowl-labeled wines will come later. This year’s bottle is certain to be a popular corporate gift among NFL business partners.

Wine by Design has been producing licensed wines for sports properties since 2010, including for the Jets, Washington Redskins and UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma. Wine By Design has had an MLB license since 2013 and will expand from 20 to 26 MLB team-labeled wines next season. Among the places its products will be served is a new wine bar at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field.

“You’ve got athletes like Joe Montana investing in wineries and restaurants and collecting wine,” said Diane Karle, Wine By Design founder and CEO. “We’ve seen this pairing coming for a while.”

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