- New Amsterdam Vodka introduced a lemonade-flavored spirit called Pink Whitney that was inspired by a hockey podcast the brand sponsors, according to a company announcement. Ryan Whitney, the former NHL player who hosts the "Spittin' Chiclets" podcast produced by sports media company Barstool Sports, last year told listeners that his favorite drink was pink lemonade spiked with New Amsterdam.
- In response, fans began referring to the "Pink Whitney" in social media posts that went viral, while bars and NHL arenas started serving the cocktail to hockey fans, per the announcement. The growing trend inspired New Amsterdam to launch the Pink Whitney flavor in bottles marked with Barstool Sports and the "Spittin' Chiclets" logos, Whitney's old jersey number and his catchphrase "What a Legend."
- Barstool Sports and New Amsterdam will promote Pink Whitney in a campaign that includes 15- and 30-second commercials featuring Whitney and his podcast co-host, Paul Bissonnette. The spots will air next month on NBC Sports to coincide with the new hockey season. The campaign also will include ads on Spotify and point-of-sale materials for retail locations.
New Amsterdam Vodka is wise to capitalize on a viral trend that grew organically on social media as fans of the "Spittin' Chiclets" podcast started sharing posts featuring the drink. The publicity snowballed as social media users shared pictures when they saw Pink Whitneys on cocktail menus in bars or mixed them at home. Viral trends and internet memes can be hard to predict, but they do have the power to drive sales, as beauty brand Marc Anthony True Professional discovered this year as social media users shared videos of themselves using its products in parody commercials.
To reach audiences of younger adults who are a key target market for spirits brands, New Amsterdam has sponsored podcasts like "Spittin' Chiclets," which generates 575,000 downloads an episode, Front Office Sports reported.
Last year, New Amsterdam was the first advertiser to get behind Spotify's first branded original podcast series. The streaming platform's "Ebb & Flow" was a series hosted by Jasmine Solano, a music influencer, DJ and New Amsterdam ambassador. Marketers are forecast to boost their sponsorship spending on podcasts from $479 million last year to more than $1 billion by 2021, per the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
New Amsterdam Pink Whitney is the latest result of the brand's effort to reach hockey fans. The brand in October signed a three-year deal to be the official vodka of the NHL, an agreement that put New Amsterdam in a class of sponsorship dominated by alcohol giants such as Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, Diageo and Brown-Forman, Ad Age reported. New Amsterdam Vodka, which was introduced in 2011 as a sister brand to New Amsterdam Gin, has grown rapidly to sell more than 5 million cases a year by targeting millennials.