- Mike's Hard Lemonade is bringing back its fan-favorite Limeade flavor, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. Mike's Hard Limeade was previously discontinued in 2018.
- To mark the occasion, the brand has launched the "Mike’s Hard Comeback Hotlime" (1-866-TALK2MIKE) that college basketball fans can call for a pep talk, space to scream or a game-day speech by former basketball star Mike Miller.
- Timed around the NCAA basketball tournament, the effort demonstrates how brands can engage with consumers by bringing back discontinued but beloved products.
The return of Mike's Hard Limeade comes after what press materials describe as a "social media plea" for the flavor, which was discontinued in 2018. To mark the comeback, the malt liquor brand is nodding to March Madness and the needs of college basketball fans during the much-watched tournament.
The Mike’s Hard Comeback Hotlime provides fans with an opportunity to hear a pep talk or to vent their frustrations around the games. The activation also allows the brand to tie up with an eponymous basketball star, Mike Miller, best known for his time on the Florida Gators in the NCAA and for being part of two championship teams with the Miami Heat in the NBA.
Inspired by social media, the campaign also includes branded swag that Mike's will give away to fans who called for the return of Limeade on social media. The flavor is available now as part of Mike’s Hard Variety Packs and will be available in standalone six-packs in the coming weeks.
March Madness provides an opportunity with brands to connect with sports fans in a variety of ways. Competitor Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea this month introduced boxers with pouches that hold two 12-ounce cans of the beverage in an effort timed to a month that sees a 30% increase in vasectomies due to the tournament. And while Mike's Hard is soothing fan emotions with its hotline, Coors Light is helping to calm anxious basketball fans with beer-flavored ice pops.
Founded in 1999, Mike's Hard Lemonade Co. was an early mover in the "malternative" beverage space that is now crowded with hard seltzers and related alternatives, making efforts like the Mike’s Hard Comeback Hotline a way to try to break through and reestablish its place in the market.