Arnold Palmer Spiked Half & Half is teeing off on its 2019 campaign the same way it announced its launch a year earlier: At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, also known as the biggest party in golf.
The hard half iced tea, half lemonade drink plans a number of marketing activations including sampling, promotions and concessions at the so-called “Greatest Show on Grass,” which kicks off Jan. 31.
The tournament, which marks the unofficial start to the golf season, is fertile ground for alcohol beverage brands, especially those with direct ties to golf like Arnold Palmer Spiked, which is named after the golf legend.
“This isn’t just a golf tournament, it’s the biggest golf party of the year,” says Chris Steele, a senior marketing manager who oversees the brand for MillerCoors. “It’s a good opportunity for us to get our brand in front of fans and increase brand awareness, one of our top goals for 2019.”
Arnold Palmer Spiked also is partnering with trick-shot artists and others to help raise awareness of the brand.
Arnold Palmer Spiked is coming off a strong debut in 2018, ranking as the top flavored malt beverage released for the year, and the No. 3 new brand in all of beer and cider, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through Dec. 29. In its first year on the market, the brand picked up 0.9 percentage points of share in its segment, per Nielsen.
It has even bigger plans in 2019, including expanding to 24 investment markets from 13 and the launch 12-packs of 12-ounce slim cans, a package that will allow the brand to further expand its footprint into large-format and big-box stores.
“That’s going to be big for us,” Steele says. “The move into 12-packs will allow us to take AP Spiked from the back nine into consumers’ back yards. If you’re going to have any sort of party or get-together, a 12-pack fits those occasions very nicely.”
The 5 percent alcohol-by-volume non-carbonated drink made with real juice and tea “is the perfect beer alternative; it’s like summer in a can,” Steele says. “We expect to see it all over backyard patios this spring and summer at barbecues, Fourth of July parties and other gatherings.”
Arnold Palmer Spiked, made in partnership with Hornell Brewing, a unit of iced-tea maker AriZona Beverages, also is expanding sampling programs and unveiling new out-of-home and targeted social and digital media marketing.
On top of that, the brand plans a national social campaign during key selling periods in 2019, Steele says. The key in year two is to continue to drive awareness and get the drink in more consumers’ hands.
“Once people are aware of AP Spiked and try it, the repeat purchase numbers are very strong,” Steele says. “We believe we have the better tasting product with real juice and real tea that delivers the quintessential Arnold Palmer taste.”