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Volume 25 No. 239
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Johnnie Walker Returns As Headline Sponsor For European Ryder Cup Team

Johnnie Walker has "returned as a headline sponsor" for the European Ryder Cup team, 17 years since its last major Ryder Cup activation, according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. In a "marked shift from its previous golf campaigns, the Scotch whisky has poured its budget into social media, video, live events, PR and more to introduce the brand to more casual sports fans." A “Johnnie Walker Experience” mini golf course has been "set up close" to the Gleneagles Resort. Attendees "experience the story of how the whiskies of John Walker and Sons travelled from Scotland to the rest of the world, spanning sampling sessions and brand ambassadors." The brand also will be "attempting to complete an ambitious plan to get 25,000 people to 'Join the Pact' this weekend by asking them to make a commitment to never drink and drive." Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard has entered into a "partnership with The Guardian." HP is "going after the newspaper’s C-suite audience by sponsoring its coverage of the event, including branded content, social media and an interactive course map." HP hopes to "convey a 'new style of IT,' its B2B marketing platform that puts its products at the heart of a workplace affected by mobile, cloud computing and big data" (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 9/25). 

MOVING ON UP: The GLOBE & MAIL's Eric Reguly notes the Rothschild wine brand is "famously discreet and subtle," and other than the Cannes Film Festival, it "tends to avoid big international events, and certainly sporting events, where the crowds can be large, loud and loutish." But "all that changed three years ago" when the brand "formed a partnership" with the European Tour. That partnership in turn "led to the sponsorship" of the Ryder Cup. While the owners and managers of the parent company, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, "insist that no other sporting event will be associated with Mouton Cadet, the Ryder Cup does mark a turning point in the winemaker’s strategy." Château Mouton Rothschild co-Owner Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild said, "You know that if you don't make your brand live, it will one day disappear." Until a "few years ago, Mouton Cadet was losing market share in New World, that is, non-European, markets as quality wines" from Australia, South Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere "came on strong." Attaching the Mouton Cadet brand name to a big-name int'l event "might give the Mouton Cadet label a boost." The sponsorship deal "included the launch of a unique Mouton Cadet red that is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon." Only 7,000 cases "were made and the bottles carry the Ryder Cup logo." The wine is "being served" at Gleneagles (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/26).