MillerCoors’ Gustavo Aguirre: “More than 50% of Our Marketing Budget is Sports Related”

Gustavo Aguirre
Gustavo Aguirre
, Associate Brand Manager at Coors Light, will be one of the major brand marketers speaking at our upcoming #Portada15 Conference in New York City on Sept. 16 (Sports Marketing Forum: Check out the agenda!)  and 17 (9th Annual Conference: Check out the agenda). We interviewed Aguirre, who among other interesting things tells us that more than 50% of Coors Light marketing budget efforts are sports related.

Portada: MillerCoors products have dropped in recent years, Coors Light particularly, what is your plan to revert this situation over the next few years?
Gustavo Aguirre, Associate Brand Manager Coors Light, MillerCoors.: “This is not entirely accurate, MillerCoors beat performance on 2014 and during the first trimester of 2015, having brands such as Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Redd’s and Linenkuegel presenting positive performance. In the case of Coors Light in particular, we had had some challenges from a volume perspective. To address that we have been working on a couple of fronts: First, we launched our refresh / Refresca campaign in early March aimed to increase our relevancy with Urban Multicultural Millennials. This campaign celebrates those who are refreshing America. Second, we redesign our entire brand, including every single marketing consumer touch point. We are true believers of how great design increases consumer consideration. And third, we launched more recently our Born in the Rockies campaign, which is aimed to giving a deeper meaning to the brand’s heritage and origin. We wanted to remind American beer drinkers why they should care that Coors Light is “Born in the Rockies”, this campaign is telling a story about how our birthplace continues to inspire everything we do to deliver The World’s Most Refreshing Beer.”

Univision is our main media partner, they have the expertise and the media strength to distinctively reach Hispanic consumers.

Portada: You are planning to launch soda-inspired beverages next year, can you provide some details about your marketing plan?
“Let me share a few words from our CMO, David Kroll on that matter:
“We’re proud to announce MillerCoors will launch new Henry’s Hard Soda in 2016. We will enter the market with Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale and Henry’s Hard Orange Soda.We’re constantly looking for ways to leverage our expertise in FMBs (Fermented Malted Beverages) and innovation to win over drinkers. We’ve had our eye on the hard soda category for some time and we have the proposition to incrementally grow and lead a new category. With Redd’s and Redd’s Wicked in above premium and Steel Reserve in the economy segment, we’ve been successful in reaching millennials. Henry’s is aimed at inviting a particular segment (men and women) to the MillerCoors portfolio. This allows us to pursue a strategically important consumer who is currently underserved with a sophisticated offering. We will support the Henry’s launch with national TV, exciting retail tools, digital and social media. Our goal is to establish Henry’s as a hard soda platform from which we can continue to grow this exciting category and innovate with new flavors in the future. Leveraging our expertise in brewing and marketing FMBs, Henry’s will play a key role in maintaining and growing our FMB category leadership.”

REGISTER TO PORTADA’S HISPANIC SPORTS MARKETING FORUM. Sports Marketing Forum (check out the agenda!) on September 16 only US $299 Register here!. Combo Ticket (Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum and 9th Annual Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference (Sept. 17) for only US$ 599! Register here!

Portada: In what way has Fanaticos del Frio supported MillerCoors marketing effort (what part of your marketing strategy has it been able to fulfill?)
G.A.: “FDF has been essential in establishing our credibility around Liga MX futbol when interacting with consumers via TV, Digital and On-site consumer Engagement. FDF functions as our sport platform aimed to increase relevancy with Hispanic Consumers, thanks to its content and is tone we have been able to maintain Coors Light as part of the conversation when Futbol and Liga MX are mentioned.”

DOWNLOAD : Portada’s 2015 Soccer Marketing Guide!

Portada: Do you think that today with the strong power of social media properties it would have made more sense to launch Fanaticos del Frio right on e.g. Facebook or Instagram as opposed to on a stand-alone site?
G.A.: “
The way we see it is that social media and our own FDF website are working as complements, each “channel” has their own role in delivering specific messages/and content to consumers, and thanks to our partners, both in media and in social, we have being able to make sure that all of these content is complementing to each other, increasing the likelihood of surrounding consumers with Coors Light messaging across different touch points.”

Portada: Who is your main media partner for the promotion of Fanaticos del Frio and why?G.A.: “Univision, they have the expertise and the media strength to distinctively reach Hispanic consumers.”

Portada: What percentage of MillerCoors Hispanic marketing efforts are sports related (more or less?)
G.A.: “
I can speak for Coors Light, and that is more that 50%.”

Portada: What qualities are particularly needed in a successful sports marketer (as opposed to a succesful brand marketer in general).
G.A.: “Besides having lots of passion for sports, this marketer needs to be insights driven, he needs to be very good at understanding consumers “sports journey” and determine what are the different moments of “interaction” between him and the sport. These interactions will involve decisions, media and products. These interactions, will represent great opportunities to introduce specific brand messages. The biggest challenge will be to make those distinctive, which is for me, the biggest quality needed for a sport marketing role. And that is, how you make sure you keep your brand “message” unique and in the same time relevant for consumers in the market place.”