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Volume 24 No. 156
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     While some breweries have cut back and even stopped sports
sponsorships, Labatt's British arm "appears to have reversed the
trend," turning high-profile sports sponsorships into sales
gains, according to the GLOBE & MAIL.  Since launching its first
British product in '88, the Toronto-based Labatt has acquired
more than 3% of the total British beer market, putting its
product "on equal footing" with such brands as Budweiser, Coors
and Guinness.  Labatt Marketing Manager David Radford says much
of the success is due to their relationship with the Nottingham
Forest football club.  Rather than the approach of saturation
advertising, Radford says Labatt used its experience with the
Blue Jays to set up team-oriented bars and promotions, subsidize
bus trips for out-of-town games and host pub nights for live
broadcasts.  According to Radford, sales have gone "through the
roof" in the team's home region, and the brewery dominates
international sales there.  This is in contrast to other foreign
brewers who prefer to simply use sponsored teams as "walk-on"
stars in national ad campaigns (Michael McCormack, Toronto GLOBE
& MAIL, 2/21).