The Boston Red Sox and Boston Beer Company have reached a multi-year agreement to make Samuel Adams “the official beer of the Boston Red Sox.”
It’s an eight-year deal that will last through the 2025 season, according to the Boston Globe.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the beer company will need to “shift” advertising dollars away from more traditional channels to foot the bill, the Globe added.
As part of the deal, the Samuel Adams brand will be featured prominently throughout historic Fenway Park, including taking over the right field sponsor sign that had featured Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser brand for nine years.
“I moved to Boston the year of the ‘Impossible Dream Season,’” Boston Beer founder Jim Koch said via a press release, referencing the 1967 season in which the Red Sox won the American League pennant. “Now visitors to this historic ballpark will enjoy the freshest Sam Adams beer, while watching an incredible team, playing under our sign over in right field. It’s my personal impossible dream come true.”
“We are excited for this long-term partnership, and look forward to working collaboratively to represent Boston through our two brands,” Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy added in the release.
The Red Sox team beer sponsorship was previously held by Rhode Island’s Narragansett from 1944 to 1975 before Budweiser assumed the sponsorship in 1976.
Beginning next season, the Samuel Adams brand will be featured with a right field rooftop deck called “Sam Deck” and a “Sammy’s on Third” bar beneath the third-base stands. Fans will also be able to purchase additional Samuel Adams offerings, including the soon-to-be-released Sam ’76 session lager, inside the stadium.
In addition to featured opportunities within Fenway Park, the Samuel Adams brand will be visible during spring training at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.
“As the official beer of the Red Sox, we get to celebrate our New England roots with millions of other fans as soon as the season kicks off,” Koch said in the release.
The contract gives Boston Beer the ability to use the Red Sox name and logo in its marketing, the Globe also reported.
Boston Beer’s sponsorship with the Red Sox comes as a growing number of craft brands are increasing their presence at major sporting venues.
In February, Boulevard Brewing Co. reached a five-year deal to become the official craft beer of the Kansas City Royals. And in July, Denmark-based Mikkeller announced plans to open a 10,000 sq. ft., brewery and restaurant inside Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets.
Larger beer companies have also shifted some of their sponsorship budgets toward their craft brands. Earlier this year, MillerCoors opened a Terrapin-branded brewery and restaurant at the Atlanta Braves’ new ballpark, Suntrust Park. And Revolver Brewing, also owned by MillerCoors, plans to open a brewery next year in a new entertainment district near the Texas Rangers’ stadium.
Meanwhile, Constellation Brands signed a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal in October with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to make Modelo Especial the official U.S. beer sponsor of the mixed-martial-arts organization. Earlier in the year, Constellation inked deals with Major League Baseball’s Anaheim Angels and Chicago White Sox and the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets.
A press release with additional information about Boston Beer’s sponsorship is included below.
Another Hometown Home Run: Samuel Adams is Named “The Official Beer of the Boston Red Sox”
The Partnership Marks a New Era for New England’s Independent Craft Brewer and the Rising Tide of American Craft Beer
BOSTON — Samuel Adams, New England’s leading independent craft brewer, has been named the “official beer of the Boston Red Sox.” Samuel Adams and the Red Sox have entered into a multi-year partnership, bringing together two beloved, Boston icons.
In 1984, Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch hit the streets of Boston, going door-to- door to introduce bartenders to his new full-flavored beer, Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Sam Adams’ flagship beer, a leader of America’s craft beer revolution, was born in Boston. Many of the first bars and restaurants that carried the local brewer’s beer were around the Fenway neighborhood, giving special meaning to the new partnership.
“I moved to Boston the year of the ‘Impossible Dream Season’. Now visitors to this historic ballpark will enjoy the freshest Sam Adams beer, while watching an incredible team, playing under our sign over in right field. It’s my personal impossible dream come true,” said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. “We got our start right here in Boston, and for the past three decades we’ve worked our butts off to stay independent and brew great beer. As the official beer of the Red Sox, we get to celebrate our New England roots with millions of other fans as soon as the season kicks off.”
Visitors to Boston’s storied Fenway Park will start to see the multi-year partnership come to life as soon as January 2018. Details of the agreement include:
Two Sam Adams experiential bar areas: the right field roof deck will now be known as the “Sam Deck,” and a bar area located beneath the third base stands will be known as “Sammy’s On Third.”
In addition to crowd favorites like Boston Lager and Summer Ale, fans will be able to enjoy new brews launching in 2018 like the highly anticipated Sam ’76.
Visible signage throughout the ballpark including the iconic right field sign which last changed nine years ago.
As the official beer of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Adams will have opportunities to partner across New England and in Fort Myers at JetBlue Park.
Sam Adams is the first American craft brewer to enter into a partnership with a Major League Baseball franchise, for this length of time and at this level. The move continues to highlight an important cultural shift as the popularity of American craft beer provides new opportunities for Independent craft brewers.
“Both the Red Sox and Sam Adams are rooted in Boston tradition and history, and Jim Koch and the entire team are as passionate about beer as we are about baseball,” said Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy. “We are excited for this long-term partnership, and look forward to working collaboratively to represent Boston through our two brands.”
This also marks the first professional team partnership, of this scale, for Samuel Adams. The local craft brewer has also been the official beer of the Boston Marathon for several years, and over the years has had limited sponsorships or other arrangements with the Red Sox, The Patriots, the Celtics and the Bruins. Since opening the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, the brewer has donated beer and tour proceeds to support hundreds of local and regional charities, as part of its commitment as a New England neighbor.
For more information regarding the Samuel Adams and Boston Red Sox partnership, visit: www.SamuelAdams.com.
About Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams is a leading independent, American craft brewer that helped to launch the craft beer revolution. The brewery began in 1984 when Founder and Brewer Jim Koch used a generations-old family recipe to brew beer in his kitchen. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life with hopes drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavor and started sampling the beer in Boston. He named the flagship brew Samuel Adams Boston Lager in recognition of one of our nation’s founding fathers, a revolutionary man of independent and pioneering spirit. Today, Samuel Adams is one of world’s most awarded breweries and remains focused on crafting the highest quality beers through innovation and experimentation in the relentless pursuit of better. Samuel Adams remains dedicated to elevating and growing the American craft beer industry overall, including providing education and support for entrepreneurs and fellow brewers through its philanthropic program, Brewing the American Dream, which helps others pursue their American Dream. For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com.