- Anheuser-Busch InBev is launching the first big campaign for its newly acquired wine-in-a-can brand Babe, becoming the official wine sponsor of the NFL, per a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- The launch campaign includes a video starring Kayla Nicole, on-camera host and girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce, promoting "how football does wine."
- The brand says it will announce partnerships with the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos and other teams, and that its campaign will include the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, with details to come. Available in rosé, pinot grigio and red, the wine will be sold in a dozen football stadiums.
Partnering with the NFL to become the official wine of football is a significant first campaign for AB InBev's Babe. The product is yet another push by the beverage giant to capture younger drinkers who are drinking less of its legacy beer brands. This year has also seen campaigns by the company's spiked seltzer line Bon & Viv and its malt beverage brand Ritas.
Founded in 2015 by Josh "The Fat Jewish" Ostrovsky and brothers David Oliver Cohen and Tanner Cohen, Swish Beverages — maker of Babe wine — sold a minority stake to Anheuser-Busch in 2018 before selling the remaining shares last summer. Ostrovsky said there was an opportunity to create a brand for younger drinkers after a shortage of rosé in the Hamptons in 2014, and wanted to create "the Bud Light of wine," he told Bloomberg.
Millennials drank 42% of all wine in the U.S., according to Wine Spectator, a fact that's led to a variety of new wine products focused on convenience for that group, such as the increasingly popular canned wine. The product now represents a $45 million business, according to Nielsen.
Ostrovsky is an Instagram star who currently has more than 10 million followers on the social platform, and has conducted influencer campaigns for brands such as Burger King, Virgin Mobile and Budweiser. Since then, he's used his social fame to promote the Babe wine brand.