NEW YORK: MillerCoors, the brewer, is using an increasingly diverse sponsorship portfolio as a means of connecting with millennial consumers.

Marques Jackson, MillerCoors’ senior manager/brand experience, discussed this subject during a session at ESP Properties’ 2018 IEG Conference.

“As we think about our overall go-to-market strategy, we’re trying to think about unique experiences and partnerships that are ultimately going to be relevant in the minds of millennials,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: MillerCoors’ millennial-focused sponsorship strategy)

Elaborating on this theme, he reported that a central aim of MillerCoors’ partnership efforts is to convince members of this demographic – with a particular focus on 21–27-year-olds – to drink beers like Miller Lite and Coors Light.

Indeed, Jackson asserted, pursuing such an objective claims “pretty much 95%” of sponsorship budgets at the Chicago-based enterprise.

And the size of this challenge should not be underestimated, given the changing tastes now observable in the category, especially among younger customers who are flocking to craft beer.

“[If] you think about big brands like Miller Lite, Coors Light, Bud Light [and] Budweiser, we’re having a hard time really connecting with that millennial, who wants to have a beer that’s locally relevant,” Jackson said.

“That’s where a lot of tension comes into place in terms of where we need to break through the clutter and drive those experiences that are going to transmit to repeat purchases.

Sponsorship activity at MillerCoors now spans traditional passion points like sports and music, but also includes affiliations with food and wine festivals, as well as events based around entrepreneurialism.“Millennials are now gravitating towards developing their own businesses and really trying to get involved in that space, so we feel like that’s a near and dear topic, and it aligns to our mission and our objectives from a community perspective.”

Branded venues such as the Blue Moon Taphouse in Norfolk, Virginia, and the same brand’s RiNo Brewery in Denver, Colorado, are another opportunity it is exploring further.

“We’re starting to build more capital into those experiences, because we do understand that there is an intrinsic effect and impact on the consumer when they actually have a chance to experience that,” Jackson said.

Sourced from WARC