White Claw may be the brand leading America's hard seltzer movement in terms of sales. But as far as sponsorships are concerned, another brand has just provided hard seltzer its breakout moment: Bon & Viv has been announced as the "Official Hard Seltzer Sponsor of the NFL."
Adam Schefter of ESPN's NFL Insider broke the news on Twitter as part of an ad campaign where Bon & Viv gave people lie detector tests to see whether they preferred it compared to — you guessed it — White Claw. But even though the Claw may have the name recognition, if you follow the ownership trail, Bon & Viv clearly had a leg up on the sponsorship circuit. White Claw is owned by Mark Anthony Brands, probably best known for Mike's Hard Lemonade. Meanwhile, since 2016, Bon & Viv has been owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which among dozens of other brands, is also known for Bud Light, which already happens to be the official beer of the NFL.
Of course, adding another NFL sponsorship to their portfolio isn't free, but as Brewbound points out, AB InBev might find it's worth the investment. The hard seltzer category is expected to be worth $1 billion by the end of the year, and Bon & Viv is currently only the third best-selling brand out there. The top two, White Claw and Truly Hard Seltzer, reportedly make up 85 percent of all sales, so you can see why Bon & Viv would want to aggressively target that massive market.
At the same time, the rest of the hard seltzer industry has got to feel good about this sponsorship, even if the benefits are indirect. Landing an NFL partnership is just one more example of hard seltzer legitimizing itself as a major player in the alcoholic beverage world, something that could help continue to drive hard seltzer sales in general. And an NFL deal means even more exposure for hard seltzer: Anheuser-Busch says that "fans will be able to enjoy Bon & Viv in 16 oz. cans in stadiums across the country," and the brand "will also show up via dedicated TV spend in NFL games and on NFL.com and Twitter."
Check out our recent summer spiked seltzer taste test (including Bon & Viv) here.
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