Why Your Brewery Should Pursue That Official Partnership

Being named the official beer partner of a large organization means you’ve done some reputable things, but it’s also an opportunity to build up your business even further.

Just five years after opening its doors, True North Ale Company got that opportunity after recently being named the official beer partner of the US Tennis Association of New England.

Being open to such a partnership definitely has the potential to increase awareness of True North Ales’ brand and sales with its robust membership and impressive reach, co-founder Gary Rogers said.

“USTANE has 22,500 members playing tennis at more than 400 venues,” said Rogers, who also handles business operations for the Ipswich, Massachusetts brewery. “Our partnership affords us access to these members and venues through emails and social media.”

Rogers said USTA New England had successfully partnered with another Massachusetts brewery pre-COVID as sponsor of their Social League. The arrangement between that brewery and the organization consisted of sponsoring three eight-week sessions from spring through fall designed for those less-than-serious tennis people looking to socialize in their community through an outdoor physical activity. 

True North’s partnership is significantly more far reaching than that.

“USTANE became aware of True North Ales reputation as an award-winning brewery and contacted us through a consultant that USTA has on retainer,” Rogers said. “We met during Q4 of last year and explored the opportunity presented by the Social League, which led to discussions of several other significant possibilities with their Adult Leagues, Coaches Meetings, Championship Weekends, and larger tennis venues. 

“The team from USTANE was impressed with our willingness to commit resources to make the partnership one of great value and success.”

It requires an investment on the brewery’s part, but Rogers said it was their intention to build brand loyalty to True North Ales through ongoing outreach and promotion that has real value to the members. 

“The Social League opportunity is unique and offers value in multiple ways,” Rogers said. “Each weeknight that the player groups meet at each of the 22 neighborhood locations, a gathering is organized afterwards at a local restaurant. 

“USTANE and True North Ales partner with that local restaurant to provide a special meal to the players. Of course, our beers are available at each of the restaurants that host a group. Our ability to recruit local restaurants and then deliver a large group of hungry and thirsty tennis players on a weeknight is very attractive to our restaurant partners. Everyone wins!”

Rogers said True North Ales would work hard to make this affinity group loyal to our brand, and would also measure the positive effects they have on relationships with restaurants who host Social League gatherings and the increased business volume we bring to our distribution partners. 

Brand-growth and sales opportunities will continue beyond weeknight restaurant sales, he predicted.

“There are large tennis clubs with liquor licenses with whom we plan to partner,” he said. “We are planning to hold special events at our brewery location, such as the Adult League Championship Awards Dinner, a US Open Watch Party, and a Coaches Meeting. Each of these will help to build value for us and our brand.” 

The True North team is working with the marketing team at USTANE on additional ideas, including a potential tennis-oriented beer that matches the lifestyle of active tennis players.

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