Chicago White Sox Strike Another Deal, Name Goose Island Club’s ‘Official Craft Beer’

Photo: 2018 White Sox/Jordan Doyle

Less than two weeks after Chicago’s Revolution Brewing announced a deal for a branded taproom at Guaranteed Rate Field, Anheuser-Busch-owned Goose Island, also based in the Windy City, has inked a multi-year deal to become the “official craft beer” of the Chicago White Sox.

Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, as part of the deal, Goose Island’s logo will be featured on the ballpark’s left-center field wall as well as on video boards and advertisements throughout the stadium. And, according to the Chicago Tribune, Goose Island has secured the rights to use the White Sox name and logo in marketing and advertisements.

“The White Sox organization has been a great part of the Chicago community for over a century and we’re proud to be part of that family now,” Goose Island president Todd Ahsmann said via a press release. “Our beers like Goose IPA and 312 are perfect for catching a great game of baseball anywhere.”

White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing Brooks Boyer added in the release that the club is “excited to welcome Goose Island as our official craft beer partner.”

“By teaming up with Goose Island Beer Company Co., we are welcoming a nationally recognized, yet homegrown Chicago brand to the White Sox family,” he said.

Goose Island is already prominently featured at Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, as part of a 2013 sponsorship agreement signed by A-B.

News of the new partnership comes as A-B has launched a “Think Big About Beer” advertising campaign in hopes of positioning the Goose Island as an urban beer brand and turning around double-digit off-premise sales declines of its core products, aside from Goose Island IPA. The company is working with Colorado’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky on the spots, which could include a previously teased commercial during the 2019 Super Bowl, the Tribune reported.

The announcement also comes after Revolution Brewing inked a two-year sponsorship deal with the White Sox that includes a branded taproom at the ballpark, in-stadium advertisements and increased tap handle placements.

“We will have a dominant craft position,” Donn Bichsel, the brewery’s director of sales, told Brewbound after the deal was announced. He explained that the company shied away from a multi-million dollar deal to become the exclusive craft beer inside the stadium.

“The White Sox have been very progressive about opening up their ‘Craft Kave’ to local brewers,” he said. “We didn’t want to be exclusive and take that away from Chicago.”

Sponsorship opportunities with the White Sox opened up after the club ended its 30-year partnership with Miller Brewing prior to the 2017 baseball season. Last season, the club’s beer sponsors included Goose Island, Constellation Brands’ Modelo brand, Pabst Brewing and Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery and Founders Brewing.

Several other beer companies have signed partnerships with Major League Baseball franchises in recent years, including Boston Beer and Boulevard Brewing.

In December, Boston Beer struck a deal for its Samuel Adams brand to become the official craft beer of the Boston Red Sox. That partnership also gives Boston Beer the ability to use the Red Sox logo in marketing materials, as well as a large Samuel Adams sign in right field, replacing a Budweiser logo that towered above Fenway Park for nine years.

Prior to the 2017 baseball season, Boulevard reached a 5-year deal with the Kansas City Royals to become the club’s official craft beer — the first pact of its kind between an MLB franchise and a craft brewery.

Meanwhile, Mikkeller recently opened a 10,000 sq. ft. brewery and taproom inside the Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, at the end of last month.

A press release with additional details is included below.

Goose Island Beer Company and White Sox Announce Multiyear Partnership Agreement

CHICAGO ­– Goose Island Beer Company has reached a new, multiyear partnership agreement with the Chicago White Sox, naming one of the largest craft breweries in the Midwest as the new official craft beer partner of the White Sox.

As part of the partnership, Goose Island will receive prominent brand exposure inside and outside of Guaranteed Rate Field. The marketing agreement contains video assets, including presence on video boards, promotions in market and in the ballpark, as well as an outfield wall sign and branding along the concourse. Under the terms of the agreement, fans will have access to a special tailgate event held by Goose Island and the White Sox at the ballpark during the 2018 season.

Goose Island will be featured in market retail promotions that will include a digital activation with White Sox social media during the 2018 season. Goose Island also will support Chicago White Sox Charities through the corporate partners program.

“The White Sox organization has been a great part of the Chicago community for over a century and we’re proud to be part of that family now. Our beers like Goose IPA and 312 are perfect for catching a great game of baseball anywhere,” said Todd Ahsmann, President of Goose Island Beer Co. “Personally, I grew up a Sox fan and share a lot of their memories, from jumping on the field when they clinched in ’83, to the last and first games at the old and new stadiums, the ’05 Series and more than thirty opening days.”

“By teaming up with Goose Island Beer Company Co., we are welcoming a nationally recognized, yet homegrown Chicago brand to the White Sox family,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Goose Island is one of the best in the business and is as passionate as we are about White Sox baseball and the fan experience. We’re excited to welcome Goose Island as our official craft beer partner, and a partner whose beers appeal to all White Sox fans and their tastes.”

Founded by John Hall, the Goose Island Beer Company has been brewing award-winning beers in Chicago since 1988. Along with the production brewery and Taproom on Fulton and Wood Streets, the brewing company operates the original Goose Island Brewhouse in Lincoln Park as well as the renowned barrel-aging warehouse at 605 North Sacramento Boulevard. Goose Island prides itself on brewing a portfolio of world-class beers and bringing people together to share in the enjoyment of great beer.

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