Lion Nathan Brewery Forms a New Sport—Beach Cricket
Lion Nathan Brewery and its XXXX Gold beer brand wanted to leverage Australians’ love of cricket, but its main competitor had a long-standing relationship with the national team and a virtual lock on major domestic and international competitions. So it created an entirely new sport called beach cricket. Twenty-three legends of the sport from Australia, England and the West Indies were signed up to compete and participate in related marketing activities around this brand new property.
Three televised events took place—in Perth, Sydney and the Gold Coast. Public bars and concessions within the on-the-beach stadiums built for the tournaments served XXXX Gold beer, allowing for 30,000 units to be sampled across all three events. Music and live entertainment featuring the XXXX Cheerleaders was also part of the festivities.
Then there were the programs around the events used to build stronger ties with on- and off-premise accounts and consumers. Activities in each market included golf outings that paired customers with cricket legends and VIP dinners, as well as Cricket Mates Days, which allowed fans to interact with the legendary cricketers and obtain autographs. The players also dropped in unannounced to meet fans at more than 40 Pub Shouts.
Since the sponsorship and supporting marketing programs were launched, XXXX Gold has jumped to the number two brand in Australia with a sales increase of 8.7 percent. An estimated seven million people watched the events on television. Follow-up research revealed that 12 percent of the Australian population saw the event, knew it was presented by XXXX Gold and agreed that it increased the likelihood they would purchase the brand.