Saturday September 30, 2023

Heineken Turns To Mickelson To Help Revive Amstel Light

  • Heineken lost focus on its Amstel Light, but looks to breath new life into the brand.
  • In an incentivized deal, the beer company has partnered with Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson Amstel Light
Photo Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

Donovan McNabb and the State of Football

From Taylor Swift to the Prime Effect, there's a lot going on in the world of football.
Listen Now
September 29, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied
Mickelson Amstel Light
Photo Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Heineken is turning to a familiar face as it attempts to bring the beer brand Amstel Light back to relevance.

The company has entered into a “true business partnership” with golfer Phil Mickelson as the brand refocuses on a brand that was lost in the shuffle. 

Quinn Kilbury, Heineken USA head of partnerships and consumer experience, said Amstel Light was a victim of prioritization when Heineken Light launched in the U.S.

“Whether that was correct or incorrect, there is an opportunity to revive the brand,” Kilbury said. “We have a unique relationship with him, we’re both incentivized to grow the brand. He wanted a true partnership, we wanted a true partnership and that’s how it ended up working.”

Kilbury said he couldn’t go deep into how the incentives of the deal work and that details of how the partnership will roll out are still in the works.

“The short answer is if we’re growing Amstel Light, we all make more money,” he said. “In the end, that’s why we have a deal. We both have skin in the game, and if you know Phil, that’s his personality.”

Mickelson recently fell out of the top 50 golfers ranking for the first time since 1993, and while Kilbury said he believes he still has more competitive years ahead, his performance on the course isn’t what the partnership is about.

“That’s not what we were looking for,” he said. “It’s more about having a beer with friends and he’s a guy you want to have a beer with. That’s his presence and he just hit all those Ts.”

Kilbury said there’s a particular segment of the population – in their late 30s to early 50s – that will remember the days Amstel Light was “the good beer out of college,” and those are a prime demographic to hit with a fun-loving competitor like Mickelson.

According to Kilbury, Mickelson isn’t a big beer guy, but that’s OK because Amstel Light is his beer. It’s OK for Amstel too, because the golfer’s global status likely could have allowed him to enter a partnership with any beer brand he chose. Instead, he’s going with the 99-calorie beer made with no GMOs, and while Heineken can’t claim a beer to be a healthy product, Kilbury said it does fit with Mickelson’s holistic lifestyle.

“As far as beers go, it checks a lot of boxes,” he said. “That’s helpful. He likes the perception of the brand, the good feeling of it. We feel we can get it back to the monster brand it was before we took our eye off it and he wants to help get it there.”

Kilbury said the brand needs attention and knows it won’t get back selling 10 million cases in year one, but that this partnership with Mickelson will help put an added attention on the brand within Heineken’s network of distributors and customers.

As the two parties work to come up with activations around the partnership, Kilbury said the lack of a big budget will produce more authentic integrations, including Mickelson’s active social media presence.

“What we can produce next year and the ways we can bring the brand to life because he’s naturally enthusiastic and incentivized to do so will be great for us,” Kilbury said. “It’s going to be fun. We don’t have a big budget, so we need to make it fun.”

READ MORE: Heineken Brands Build U.S. Sports Strategy With Focused Increments

The Heineken portfolio doesn’t include many individual athlete partnerships but does include a Heineken endorsement deal with soccer player Carlos Vela and a Tecate endorsement with boxer Canelo Alvarez.

As he talked about those two deals, Kilbury reiterated the Mickelson deal is more than an endorsement deal.

“Those make sense for the brands at their lifecycle,” he said. “[Mickelson is] the only one that made sense with the consumer target given the business structure we wanted to make.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Deion Sanders with The Rock on ESPN's "College GameDay."

Deion Sanders Generated $45M In Earned Media For Colorado

From Sept.1-22, Sanders generated $45.7M for the public university.
Patrick Mahomes

NFL Media Machine Continues To Dominate In Week 1

NBC and CBS posted their best Week 1 viewership since 2015.

Josh Harris Was Commanders’ Only Option Despite ‘Really Complicated Deal’

Harris told FOS he was the only real option left as owner.
Women's World Cup

Women’s Soccer Is Exploding. The 2023 World Cup Proved Why.

A historic tournament continued the stratospheric commercial rise of women’s soccer.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Donovan McNabb and the State of Football


Featured Today

Ryder Cup’s Future Hanging In The Balance Amid Saudi Disruption

An unexpected change could be coming to the Ryder Cup.
September 29, 2023

Colorado Has Become the Hollywood of College Football. This Weekend Proves It.

Folsom Field will welcome dozens of Hollywood stars on Saturday.
Toy Story
September 29, 2023

‘Toy Story’ Success Could Lead to More Disney-Branded NFL Kid-Casts

A successful ‘Toy Story’ game could open the door for other franchises.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce on field after the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
September 29, 2023

Taylor Swift Shaking Up Travis Kelce, Chiefs Prop Betting Market

Sportsbooks are capitalizing with Taylor Swift-themed prop bets.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Drew Brees smiling while wearing hat

Drew Brees, PointsBet Pull Off Elaborate Lightning Publicity Stunt

The video racked up over 2 million views in about 12 hours.
September 16, 2022

NBA Legend Scottie Pippen Latest Celebrity To Endorse LIV Golf

The former Chicago Bull is part of LIV's celebrity marketing campaign.
al michaels and kirk hergstreit
September 15, 2022

Amazon's Advertising Blitz Ahead Of First 'Thursday Night Football'

'Thursday Night Football' has launched massive marketing takeover ahead of Chiefs-Chargers.
June 21, 2022

NBA Finals Broke Records on Social Media

The NBA closed out the season with a bang on social media, eclipsing 2 billion video plays for a 19% increase over last year.
June 21, 2022

Gallo Winery Could Be New Player For Super Bowl Spots

Anheuser-Busch is giving up Super Bowl alcohol exclusivity for first in decades. NFL sponsor E. & J. Gallo Winery might step up with own commercials in the Big Game.
June 13, 2022

NBA's Latest Floating Court Hits London's River Thames

Hennessy continued their global initiative with the NBA by creating a floating court in the River Thames.
June 13, 2022

Steph Curry Is NBA's Social Media King

Steph Curry isn't only dominating on the court, he's become the king of the NBA's social and digital push.
June 7, 2022

The NBA Continues to Dominate the Social Media Space

The NBA seemingly capitalizes in the digital and social space more than most leagues. Here's some of the data from the Finals.