MillerCoors Assumes Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s Marketing Duties


MillerCoors yesterday announced plans to transition marketing responsibilities for its two largest craft brands — Blue Moon and Jacob Leinenkugel – away from its Tenth and Blake craft and import division.

Tenth and Blake chief Scott Whitley explained the rationale behind the move in an email to distributors yesterday, noting the increased marketing demands needed to grow what he called “powerhouse” brands.

“The shift of the Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s marketing teams to the MillerCoors organization will allow a deeper focus and commitment on these two strategic brand families, while enabling Tenth and Blake to focus on the development and integration of our new craft partners into the MillerCoors system,” he wrote.

And in an effort to better support two nationally-distributed brands with more robust national marketing campaigns, the Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s marketing teams, as well as Tenth and Blake’s innovation group, will move out of the Tenth and Blake organization and report directly to MillerCoors chief marketing officer David Kroll, Whitley said.

In addition to that transition, MillerCoors has also promoted senior marketing director Bryan Ferschinger to vice president of national craft and innovation. Ryan Hemsing, who currently serves as the brand director for Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s, will remain in his role and report to Ferschinger, Whitley wrote.

Senior director of sales David Reny will depart the organization on September 30 to pursue other opportunities, Whitley added.

Tenth and Blake will continue to oversee Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s sales initiatives, however.

“Tenth and Blake is not going anywhere,” he wrote. “The Tenth and Blake sales team will maintain its accountability for the Blue Moon and Leinie’s brands in the marketplace.”

Tenth and Blake will also continue to oversee the Peroni and Pilsner Urquell brands and will become the business development arm of MillerCoors, tasked with expanding the company’s recently purchased craft brands while eyeing additional acquisition opportunities, Whitley said.

“With Tenth and Blake’s acquisitions of Saint Archer, Terrapin, Hop Valley and Revolver, our craft portfolio has grown exponentially within the past 10 months,” Whitley wrote. “Thus, we’ve decided to focus Tenth and Blake on these strategic new partnerships in order to ensure their effective integration into the broader MillerCoors system, as well as providing the care and attention they need to expand the right way.”

Meanwhile, Mike Sikorski, who had served as MillerCoors’ director of performance planning and analytics, will assume the newly created role of senior director of finance, craft partnerships and imports. Sikorski will oversee Tenth and Blake’s finance and strategy, merger and acquisition integration and operational oversight of the craft companies on behalf of Tenth and Blake.