During its inaugural season last year, you couldn’t buy a Boulevard beer at Livestrong Stadium, home of the Sporting Kansas City professional soccer club.
Lucrative deals struck with Budweiser, Blue Moon, Guinness and Leinenkugel elbowed out Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing for pouring rights at the new stadium in western Wyandotte County.
But that’s changing in a very visible way this St. Patrick’s Day when Sporting KC hosts its home opener.
A new co-marketing agreement themed “Hometown Team-Hometown Beer” will not only bring Boulevard’s line of beers to Livestrong, but a host of other branding and advertising partnerships.
“We felt Boulevard needs to be part of what we’re doing,” Andy Tretiak, Sporting Kansas City’s vice president of marketing.
“We’ve got a young, emerging brand with a lot of momentum behind it and our demographic aligns with Boulevard.”
Boulevard officials agreed soccer and suds made for a great team.
“Our two brands have tremendous synergies and we look forward to a long term relationship that mutually extends our brands to both a local and regional audience,” said Bob Sullivan, Boulevard chief sales and marketing officer.
From a billboard outside Boulevard’s plant at 2501 Southwest Blvd. to posters with the Sporting Kansas City 2012 schedule in bars and restaurants to inserting $5 ticket discount coupons in 40,000 cases of Boulevard, the soccer club and brewery are lining up a variety of cross-promotional initiatives this year.
One includes the official launch of Boulevard’s seasonal beers at parties to be held at the Member’s Club at Livestrong.
The financial terms of the marketing agreement were not released, but much of it was compared to a bartering arrangement with assets and resources being exchanged.
“It’s not so much about generating revenues as aligning our brands together,” Tretiak said.
The new Boulevard arrangement also will not displace any of the other beers sold at Livestrong.
“We felt if we could complement that line-up with Boulevard it would complete the circle,” Tretiak said.