Ushering In Next Phase Of Professional American Rugby
The game is on. Not that game, the RUGBY game. You sidle up to the bar or open the fridge. The choices seem almost endless, but there’s only one thing that will do: you want the beer that’s almost synonymous with the game. The two-and-a-half century old brewery that not only helps define the international sport of rugby, but international itself. Guinness was established long before rugby, and has been a staple for beer drinkers ever since. As the game has enjoyed its rise to global status, becoming the second most watched sport on the planet, Guinness has been alongside, quietly but profoundly improving the experience for fans new and old, and providing the heft of additional history to the enjoyment of beholding a sport that marries inclusivity and athleticism.
You pop the cap. The bartender pulls the tap. Dark, cold Guinness flows. The head is rich and creamy; making its way back up from the bottom of the glass in a swirl that is unique to the world’s most famous stout, and one of the best-known brands on the planet. Founded by Arthur Guinness in Dublin in 1759, it’s not only one of the most recognizable beverages in the world, but among the most successful beer brands ever. Brewed with barley roasted in house, Guinness is dark – ruby red under the light – and has a distinctive, unforgettable flavor.
Like the beer, the history of the Glendale Raptors is also unique, particularly as one of the most successful rugby endeavors ever in the United States. Though considerably shorter than that of the newly signed sponsor, Glendale has been the home of American rugby for more than ten years, attracting international talent, coaches, the attention of a dedicated fan base, and big-name partners like Guinness. Over more than a decade, Glendale has established itself as the epicenter of rugby in the United States, the last genuinely untapped market for the sport in the world. As the team has grown its fan base, its talent pool, and its future, it has relied on sponsor partners to help, and has delivered an impressive return on investment for those that have seen the potential of rugby.
Guinness parent company Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Baileys, and, of course, Guinness – to name just a few. Headquartered in London, and operating in more than 180 countries, they’re a force in a thirsty world. The Glendale Raptors are proud to announce a sponsor partnership with the beverage juggernaut, and look to reinforce Guinness as the beer of choice for American rugby fans. Pete Javorek, Diageo Distributor Manager for Colorado and Utah, explains that the partnership is a no-brainer when seeking to properly represent the company’s biggest beer brand: “With consumers seeking the quality and heritage of beers like Guinness and rugby on the rise, it was a natural fit for us. We’re excited to be working together with the Glendale Raptors,” he said.
Javorek works with eighteen distributors in Colorado and Utah, managing beer forecasting, planning, and distribution – ensuring proper brand representation in the market. Aligning with the Glendale Raptors promises that representation and recognition will only grow as the 2019 Major League Rugby season gets underway in the new year. In addition to having other well-known Irish beers like Harp and Smithwick’s in its portfolio, Diageo recently completed construction of a new home for Guinness in America specifically for the United States market. The Maryland facility will focus on new innovation beers, as well as the production of Guinness Blonde, a relatively recent offering that, unlike the traditional stout, is golden in color, and made with American ingredients and by American brewers. Javorek notes that Diageo and Guinness are happy to be part of the growth of rugby in the U.S.: “It’s a natural fit for us, and we want to use the Raptors image and draw to expand to more professional teams in the league. Rugby and Guinness have been around together for a long time, and it’s something we want to continue doing. We think the sport is on the rise in the U.S., rugby is a big draw, and we want to grow both brands together.” The Raptors understand that draw, and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the world’s most famous stout.