• Loading stock data...
Sunday, July 21, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

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
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.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

A Year Into Josh Harris Era, Commanders Unable to Fully Break From Past

It’s been one year since Dan Snyder sold the Washington Commanders.

A ‘Seismic Shift’ for Women’s Sports: WNBA Lands $2.2 Billion Rights Deal

ESPN, Amazon, and NBC will pay the WNBA $200 million annually.
Jul 4, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium.

The $500 Million Juan Soto Question Lingers at MLB’s All-Star Game

Yankees superstar could attract second-largest player contract in U.S. team sports history.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

‘EA Sports College Football 25’: It’s More Than a Game

0:00

Featured Today

July 20, 2024

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.
Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
July 16, 2024

Women’s Sports Merch Is a $4 Billion Market, but Supply Isn’t Meeting Demand

Retailers can’t make women’s sports apparel fast enough.
Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.
July 14, 2024

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.

Lamar Jackson, Troy Aikman in Legal Battle Over the Number Eight

The two quarterbacks both have trademarks with the number.
July 9, 2024

Arch Manning Will Be in EA’s ‘College Football 25’ After All

The NCAA’s most famous backup had previously opted out.
July 11, 2024

Everything To Know About the Jaylen Brown–Nike-Olympic Beef

It starts, as it often does, with a carefully parsed emoji.
Sponsored

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
June 26, 2024

Hot Dog PR Mavens Claim Joey Chestnut Beef Is All Real

The Shea brothers insist the Chestnut drama is genuine.
June 13, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About the Schism Rocking Competitive Eating

The business story about hot dogs that you never knew you needed.
June 12, 2024

Fanatics Dives Into Ultra-Niche With G League Trading Cards

The company will take over the NBA license in 2025.
May 21, 2024

Lawsuit: Florida Football Coaches Made False NIL Promises

The quarterback says UF backed out of a $13.85 million NIL agreement.