Officially, the Chicago White Sox and Constellation Brands have announced a multi-year partnership featuring the Modelo brand. It’s an exclusive marketing deal that will include a new bar inside Guaranteed Rate Field: Casa Modelo. This new bar will be located on the left field concourse joining the Beggar’s Pizza Pub and the Xfinity Zone.
According to Crain’s Chicago, the partnership between MillerCoors and the White Sox had expired. Partnering with Modelo is an opportunity for the White Sox to connect with a growing Hispanic fan demographic.
Unlike the other White Sox major marketing deal, Constellation Brands is all in with their White Sox partnership.
“We know how enthusiastic Sox fans are going to be about this new partnership. The Sox organization has represented not just an incredible sports franchise for over a century, but really a mindset of so many Chicagoans,” said Jennifer Dohm, Communications Manager for Constellation Brands.
“Throughout Chicago you’ll start seeing Sox and Modelo glassware, tap handles, neon signage and other items that are co-branded. At retail, we’ll work to develop displays and promotions to support the partnership, too.”
For those fans concerned with quality, the move from Miller to Modelo should be welcoming. According to Beergraphs.com, Modelo Especial BAR (Beers Above Replacement) is 3.19, while Miller Lite is 1.35 BAR. Modelo Especial Style+ is 4% better than American Adjunct Lagers.
That boost in quality fits the mold of the modern American beer drinking demographic, opting for local/regional craft brews than the macro choices of Miller and Budweiser. Especially for a city like Chicago, which has numerous bars that offer more than 50+ brew options. One of those growing brands is Modelo which sold more than 83 million cases in 2016.
“Now that we’ve become the #2 import in America, we’re starting to invest in bigger marketing opportunities. But we’re only building partnerships that we think are a good fit for our Modelo consumers. The Sox opportunity really made sense for us, particularly as Modelo has now become the #2 beer overall in the entire city of Chicago,” said Dohm.
Specifics on which beers the White Sox will carry are still undecided. Reported by Crain’s Chicago Danny Ecker, they could sell close to 100 different beer labels.
“In addition, the team has inked a series of smaller marketing partnerships with local and regional breweries that will more than double the number of beer brands offered at the ballpark this season to close to 100 different labels. Specifics will be revealed at an event later this month, but among the newcomers to the park will be Chicago-based microbrewery Baderbrau and Pollyanna Brewing of suburban Lemont.” (Source)
Speaking with a Chicago-based beer distribution executive, joining Modelo and the new craft breweries will be Budweiser, Bud Light, Old Style, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Those four beers will come from a local distributor, and currently, there is no deal in place between the White Sox and InBev, who owns the Budweiser brand.
A complete list of beers the White Sox will serve at Guaranteed Rate Field will be released before Opening Day, April 3rd.
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, the Brewers are also following a similar path as the White Sox. The National League club has made significant changes to their food and beer offerings, opening a new “Local Brews” bar on the 200-level. Featuring 24 beers exclusive to Wisconsin, this new bar will be open for the exhibition games when the Chicago White Sox visit Miller Park on March 31st and April 1st. With each ticket purchased, the Brewers are giving fans a $10 voucher to try new food items or visit the new bar.
For fans that don’t have the means of transportation to the exhibition games, White Sox Charities is offering a $45 package that includes:
- Chartered bus transportation
- Loge Level ticket to the White Sox vs. Brewers April 1st 1:10 pm Exhibition Game
- Two (2) Outfield Reserved ticket vouchers to a 2017 White Sox home game (excluding Opening Day, BOS, NYY, LAD and Cubs series)
- Attendees are invited to bring their own alcoholic beverages.
- Attendees must be age 21 and over to attend
If you can’t find anyone who is up for a road trip to Wisconsin, this is a pretty good deal considering the cost ($10 ticket + (2) $11 Sox tickets + transportation). Plus, you get the $10 voucher to try some yummy beer you may not find at your local watering hole.
Update: Constellation Brands will have these pint glasses served around Chicago this season.