My beer runneth over: Sam Adams in a Marathon partnership?


Legalized hookie-playing, public drinking, and incessant screaming at complete strangers; only in Boston. Monday April 16th 2012, also known as Patriot’s Day here in Boston, is a historic holiday commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord – but more famously, it plays host to the 116th annual Boston Marathon. And amongst the large majority of twenty-somethings living in Boston, this sacred day is known as Marathon Monday, which mixes equal parts lining Beacon Street to cheer  marathon runners (extra shout-outs to the most outrageous costumes) and a day-long marathon of drinking.

This year, Samuel Adams is tapping into Marathon Monday by partnering with the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) to unveil its new Samuel Adams Boston 26.2 Brew for the 2012 race. According to the Boston Herald, the beer will have less alcohol and a lighter body compared to other Samuel Adams products and will be on tap exclusively at marathon-related events and pubs along the race route in Boston. For local brands like Sam Adams, the traditions of April 16th are a great opportunity for promotions, but how does the Boston Athletic Association benefit from this partnership?

Marketing partnerships, if well-executed, can be very beneficial in boosting a company’s recognition and profits. With each company bringing their own brand equity to the table, an alliance can help each party acquire new customers and users in previously untapped channels and venues. However, choosing a partnership should be a careful and thoughtful process. Participating companies must share similar goals, levels of service, and quality to achieve positive results on both sides — otherwise the connection will be confusing in the eyes of customers.

The Boston Athletic Association may be entering this territory through its partnership with Samuel Adams.

The mission of the BAA is to promote a healthy lifestyle through sports…And beer marathons are not often associated with what most people consider to be a healthy lifestyle! It seems the benefits in this case will be heavily weighted in favor of Samuel Adams which as a result of the partnership, has the right to use the “Boston 26.2” name on the new bottle.  The beer branding provides a direct connection to the social activities of race day which, let’s face it, receives many more participants than the actual race.


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