At the beginning of the summer, Monteith's launched a new partnership with New Zealand Cricket and introduced its beer and ciders to stadiums and cricket ovals. Since January, that offering has evolved into a campaign giving fans the chance to win prizes by taking pictures of their match cups. We spoke to DB's marketing director Sean O'Donnell about creating the perfect fan experience.
DB brand Monteith's became a new sponsorship partner with New Zealand Cricket last year, and O'Donnell says internal and external research pointed them in the direction they needed to go.
"Our research showed cricket fans wanted a better experience at the ground, whether that was a better seat or more food. And one thing that stood out was consumers wanted a broader range of beers and ciders at the cricket."
With the appetite for craft beer not slowing down, Monteith's, as one of DB's craft brands, was a natural fit for the partnership. Getting the range into cricket grounds was one thing, next came the need for an exciting summer campaign.
Monteith's in-house team collaborated with its creative agency Colenso BBDO to come up with the campaign called Monteith's Match Cups. Any Monteith's product purchased at a Black Caps ODI or T20 match is specially printed with a 'Brewed for..." cricket moment. Punters can then take a photo of themselves with the cup, post it on Instagram and tag it with #MonteithsMatchCup and be into win a number of prizes.
Launched at the first Sri Lanka ODI on 3 January, the campaign will run through to the final ODI verse Bangladesh on 20 February,
With 15 different scenarios printed on the cups, from 'Brewed for a six out of the stadium', to 'Brewed for a century', there are multiple chances for people to see their cup's 'prediction' happening on the field.
"We wanted to make cricket a more interesting experience when you're in your seat. With the 15 different Match Cup scenarios, the consumer has a stake in the game and will watch more intently. It's an immersive way to make a more engaging experience," O'Donnell says.
After posting and tagging the image on Instagram, Monteith's lets people know if they've won a prize while the game is still in play. Once a win is confirmed, roaming ambassadors then deliver prizes directly to the winners in the ground throughout the match.
Monteith’s Match Cup prizes include BlackCaps and Monteith’s merchandise; portable speakers; bespoke cricket sets; BBQs; and tickets for future matches. As well as the smaller prizes up from grabs on match days, at the end of the season, everyone who has entered the competition will go in the draw to win a trip for four to the 2019 Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. As it is set to be the first Black Caps v Australia Boxing Day test in more than 30 years, O'Donnell is confident the prize is worth entering for.
While this is the first summer the Monteith's brand has lead the match day sponsorship rights, DB is no stranger to producing cricket campaigns that hit it out of the park. In 2015, Tui's 'Catch-a-Million' campaign gained worldwide attention when it offered cricket fans the chance to win a million dollars if they caught a six while wearing the brand's special campaign t-shirts. The cost of the t-shirt was small, and becoming a walking billboard for a beer brand, proved a small price to pay for cricket goers when thousands of fans took up the challenge. However, the campaign was not without its controversies, with a number of people calling to ban the promotion when it caused chaos on the boundaries – with some adults showing a lack of awareness of the children around them when they attempted to catch an incoming ball.
"Catch-a-Million was an amazing property for us, and we'll do it again. We can't do it every year because of the logistics so we'll roll it out every few years," O'Donnell says.
While on the pitch, cricket fans long for partnership's like Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls beauty in the early season, O'Donnell says over the summer it's cricket and beer that make the perfect pair.
"Kiwis love watching cricket, and having a cold beer or cider is the perfect complement to that. We wanted to make drinking a Monteith's part of the experience and the cup idea was another way to interact with consumers. It's unique and bespoke and allows us to own that occasion.
"There are so many companies that leverage sponsorship the same way – we like to do different things at DB while showing support for the Black Caps."
While the season isn't quite over yet, O'Donnell says the response has been really positive so far and Monteith's is on track to give away all 500 prizes by the end of the summer.
The sponsorship deal between New Zealand Cricket and Monteith's is a longterm one and O'Donnell says the brand will look to sponsor the Black Caps next summer too.