American Marketer


Moët & Chandon calls for branded Toastsgrams at US Open

August 18, 2014

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LVMH-owned Champagne maker Moët & Chandon is augmenting its position as the official Champagne of the US Open Aug. 25 with social initiatives.

The brand will be present at the event, providing fans with a chilled experience as they watch their favorite tennis players. To extend its presence beyond the courts, the brand is also opening up a selfie contest.

"Tennis is an ideal sport for an upscale brand like Moët & Chandon to associate with," said Al Ries, founder and chairman of Ries & Ries, a Roswell, GA-based marketing strategy consultancy.

"The only other popular sport that might work for an upscale brand is golf," he said. "But tennis has only one major tournament a year and golf has many tournaments.

"That means Moët & Chandon can make an impact in tennis for far less money than it would take to make an impact in golf."

Mr. Ries is not affiliated with Moët & Chandon, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Toasting to tennis

Throughout the tournament, Moët & Chandon and will be visible at its terrace bar, which offers ample product placement for the duration.

Guests who want to relax can stop by for some shade of a drink. The brand will have tennis-white bottles of its Ice Imperial, a Champagne designed to be poured over ice.

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Moët & Chandon trunk

A Moët & Chandon trunk will also be present at the bar to give fans an easy way to fill their goblets.

Although the bar provides a nice respite, the concept is hardly novel. Sponsors of events set up similar arrangements all the time. To differentiate itself, the brand has created a selfie "Toastagram" contest.

Guests are invited to post selfies of themselves enjoying the matches and post it to social media. Each day a winner will be announced who will win a pair of Moët & Chandon white goblets.

This effort ties into the brand's larger #MoetMoment initiative.

The US Open goes from Aug. 25 - Sept. 8 and takes place in Flushing, NY. The favorites to win the Men's tournament are Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

Favorites for the Women's tournament include Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Match point

Moët & Chandon is very active in the social media space.

The brand is welcoming social media followers to participate in a summer-long photo contest.

Each month the theme will change, but the underlying tone will be represented by the hashtag #IceChallenge. Since participants can upload their image on any social media platform and tag the brand and the contest, Moët & Chandon will likely reach a wide range of its consumers (see story).

Also, Moët & Chandon spurred a conversation on social media with its $13,500 drink cart sold exclusively at British department store Selfridges.

The cart’s novelty due to its holding 20 bottles of Champagne caught the attention of Selfridges’ Facebook fans, who left a string of comments marveling at the beverage trunk (see story ).

Upscale brands have to be selective when it comes to sponsoring sport events. Some sports are too mass and some sports just do not align with brand image.

Golf and tennis, however, are generally safe bets, but both of these sports have different atmospheres and should be approached differently.

"A selfie contest will work better in tennis where the fans are closer to the action than it would in golf," Mr. Ries said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff writer on Luxury Daily, New York