Apr 102018
 

Constellation Beers’ 2018 numbers are nothing short of remarkable, especially considering the state of the rest of the beer industry.  Constellation’s beer business grew depletions by 9.8% for the year; shipments were a step behind, up 8.8%.; and net sales grew by double digits, up 10.1%. Overall, Constellation’s operating income was up 19.8%.

Beer Business Daily reported the following statistics for Constellation Beers’ Q4, the three months ending February 28th:  depletions, shipments, net sales and operating income were all up double digits. Depletions were up 11%; shipments were up 10.2%, and net sales and operating income were both up 11.9%.

What is even more remarkable is the fact that Constellation announced a long-term goal of 600 million cases in total, or the in-house defined goal of 2-2-1-1.  This translates into 200 million cases of Corona and its line extensions, 200 million cases for Modelo, 100 million cases of Pacifico, and 100 million cases of their crafts and other beers.  This includes growing 94 million cases in the next three years.

Constellation was driven by traditional marketing as they increased their marketing spending, new product development, and expansion of their other breweries into Obregon, Sonora by $900 million dollars.

All this growth has created 70 distributors in the Constellation gold network that have sold over one million cases of their brands!  Constellation has eight distributors with over a 30% share.  What is more remarkable is that ALL of the Constellation distributors grew in 2017 and half of the distributors grew at double digits!

It is generally accepted that the industry has three distinct networks: the red, or the AB network; the blue, or the MC network; and now the gold, or the Constellation network.  The red and blue networks are struggling in comparison to the performance of the gold network.

More distributors in the blue network also sell the gold portfolio. This is due to the fact that a great majority of the red network opted not to acquire the gold portfolio during the years when AB distributors were exclusive to AB.  Hindsight is 20/20.

The question is: what will this gold network look like in the future?  Consider what will happen if the gold network achieves its growth targets. Will those distributors who have the gold portfolio be known only as a gold distributor?  Will their MC or AB portfolio be “just another vendor” if the gold brands represent 50%+ of the market or an even a higher percentage of the distributor’s overall volume?  How will a much smaller AB or MC view and handle such a situation?

What would occur in the MC and AB houses if Constellation’s sales stall or slow dramatically in the upcoming years?  Perhaps a more pressing question would be, if the above happens, how will Constellation handle the situation?  Will Constellation approach their distributors as Schlitz or AB did 50 years ago, ensuring the distributors make the decision to go exclusively with the gold network and sell the other brands? Or will they sell Constellation to an exclusive distributor?

Today the gold network and Constellation Brands will work toward these goals as their sales and profits continue to exceed expectations. As with all brands, however, there will come a time when the upward trend will come to an end.  Those gold distributors should consider the future as it is just around the corner. Let’s hope Constellation sees it, too.

I drank beer and I had a career year…

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Apr 032018
 

As discussed in past articles, when I took over the Schlitz operation in 1981, the territory included a number of counties in far south Texas. Three of these counties did 95% of the volume.  In those counties, I had nine wholesalers competing within the same area: one Budweiser, one Miller, two Coors, two Lone Star, one Pearl/Imports, one Hamm’s/imports, and Glazers, who only had Heineken.

In the early 1980s, Schlitz held a +40% share of the volume which created a great deal of competition for the remaining 60% of the business.  Economic setbacks which occurred during the period made for an even more challenging marketplace.  Mexico had a major peso devaluation, oil embargos devastated the area, a region-wide freeze literally killed the citrus industry, and finally, Stroh’s purchased Schlitz.  The entire South Texas market shrank as unemployment rocked to 50%, all of which combined to drive distributor consolidation at a much-accelerated rate as compared to other U.S. markets.

Fast forward to early 2000, and there were only two distributors left in the South Texas market: the AB house, which now has a number of other brands and the MC house, now owned by Glazer’s beer division.  There is also a small craft distributor operation owned by Ben E. Keith.

Those key brands distributed by nine different wholesalers in the 80s are now housed in only two distributors.  This scenario is similar to other areas of the U.S., as brewery consolidation, along with the need for wholesalers to eliminate costs, has driven the industry in this position of consolidation.

Craft breweries have, for years, been upset at their inability to get to market in addition to the lack of focus by the distributors on their products.  Yet every year the industry continues to lose volume. Pundits target ineffective marketing, changes in demographics and aggressive marketing by the wine and spirit industries as reasons for the decline in beer sales.  In last week’s post, we noted the industry’s use of dollar growth as a major performance measurement versus volume growth as a measurement, which has been the standard in the past.

Pundits purport that for a craft to grow and survive the craft has to remain local and concentrate their resources in their backyard, and not expand into other states. Such pundits site lack of resources by small breweries and their need to concentrate their business locally.  These decisions are controllable by the small breweries.

A case can be made, however, that all of the industry consolidations have created a lack of in- market competition.  Consolations, along with the elimination of a vendor assigning brands to several wholesalers (example: how G. Heileman operated in the 1980s) necessitates that in order for a brewery to grow, said brewery must create a model which forces it to fulfill the role of a wholesaler’s sales team. In reality, this drains resources that could be used for marketing and above-the-line media spending.

For a wine and spirit wholesaler to grow without franchise protection, those companies have to execute against specific goals.  For breweries to grow, the brand building falls on the breweries shoulders’ to survive, something that is easier with a brewery taproom as its anchor.

Consolidation to the point of monopoly has never served the consumer – ever.

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Mar 272018
 

The beer industry has transformed dramatically in the past 80 years, but one constant has remained, and that is the number one selling beers have evolved generationally every 15 to 20 years.  A more recent change is the method in which the industry now measures success in terms of the number one selling brands.  On might say, this measure of success is like putting lipstick on a pig?

For 16 years, Pearl was the number one selling beer in Texas.  Pearl’s run came to an end in 1969 when Schlitz becoming the top seller in the state.  Texas, like other states at that time, had a popular local brand which maintained its sales lead for years.  Beginning in 1966, Coors expanded into North Texas and became the leading brand in that region of the state, Schlitz, however, maintained the overall volume in Texas. Schlitz retained the lead until the early 1980s when Miller Lite became the front-runner.  A generation later, it was Bud Light, a brand which is currently losing its position after holding the lead for years.

IRI data for the 52 week period ending February 24th shows Bud Light down -8.8% while Miller Lite, the number two brand, is down -3.6% for the same period. These measurements are in dollars, NOT volume!  Total dollar sales in Texas are also down by -1.3%.  On the plus side, Ultra is now the number three best-selling by dollars at a +19.7%, surpassing Coors light.  If Ultra’s trends continue, it will be in the number two position by the end of the year.

Modelo is also flying high and will soon pass both Budweiser (down) and Corona (flat) by the end of the year.  Again, these statistics are all reflective of the dollar amount.  Such measurements hide the industry’s overall decline in volume, but also show how this generation of beer buyers is buying up.  In other words, the current age group of consumers is willing to spend more for their beer.

Similar to the other changes discussed, Pearl, a regionally priced beer, lost its ranking to Schlitz, a nationally priced beer, who lost it’s ranking to Miller Lite, a slightly more expensive beer.  It should be noted that when introduced, Lite was a slightly higher price for the retailer.  Now we are seeing the growth of Ultra, an even steeper priced beer.

This increase in dollar volume is great for the industry but the question arises:  Is the industry trading volume for dollars?  Each generation of beer drinkers has raised the price of the product, and for years the industry continued to successfully grow.  Recently, however, or since InBev bought AB, industry volume has decreased as prices have increase.  A case in point is MolsonCoors and other domestic brands.

Now market share is all about dollars, not volume. Does that really measure the brand or does it simply measure the consumer?  Globally, ABI is at 57% of dollar share, where their volume share is only 33%.  These numbers alone make it simple to understand why dollars are now used to explain share. Currently, dollars are over half the market whereas volume is only a third of the market.

Both measurement for ABI and MolsonCoors are down, yet the opposite is true for Constellation Brands.  In ten years or so another generation of buyers will be defining the direction of the beer industry. Based on the past history, the only thing we can be certain of is that the newest buyers’ choice of segment will be at a higher price point.  Who cares about volume!!

Brands are born, not created…

 

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Mar 202018
 

The history of Heineken’s expansion and growth after WWII has been previously documented in past blogs.  The importer, Van Munching, predominantly appointed liquor houses to distribute the beer. This was, at the time, a logical way to distribute beer, as the trade channels that sold the most volume were liquor stores, upscale bars and restaurants.

The rise of Corona, however, in the 1980s motivated Heineken to acquire the importing rights, which then began the movement from liquor houses to beer houses.  Heineken had no choice as the brand was falling behind Corona, especially in terms of distribution.

The early 90s saw multiple liquor companies interested in future growth; expand into the beer segment of the industry by creating beer departments.  Glazers took the lead in purchasing beer distributorships, a strategy which at the time proved to be successful.  Many of the liquor houses, however, Glazers included, have in recent years, sold off their beer portfolios to local MC or AB houses.  The reason for these reversals in the purchase of beer distributorships is delineated below.

Initially, many of the liquor companies believed that by expanding into beer sales they could be a one-stop vendor for the retail market.   There was also the belief that the liquor companies could leverage their combined portfolios and gain an advantage over their competitors and, to some extent, the retailers.

Beer vendors saw the above mentioned model as the first option in a market in which AB, at the time, exclusively held an almost three-fourths exclusivity of their wholesalers.  With the passage of time, however, many breweries came to the same conclusion as Heineken had years earlier:  that liquor houses are not going to service the retail industry as well as beer wholesalers.  Being in one of these liquor houses limited the growth of a brand.

Now, 25 years later, Constellation Brands, is hoping to capitalize on their liquor and wine portfolios with their powerhouse beer brands through the leverage of their chain teams and sharing data.  Needless to say, if Constellation Brands is able to create an effective model (Total Beverage Solutions) to take advantage of their portfolios in the chains, Constellation Brands would have a tremendous advantage over their competition.

History has shown that on paper, these models appear to provide an overall advantage; however, the actuality is that such a version has yet to be successful.  The culture of the three industries: spirits, wine, and beer, is totally different.  Selling beer differs from selling liquor, which differs from selling wine.  Of course, warehousing and delivery work, but that is on the wholesale side, not on the supplier side.

In the end, management in both the liquor and wine side has, and will continue to focus on their respective portfolios.  The liquor and wine industries have little interest in selling beer.  Constellation Brands, to be successful in the Total Beverage Solutions strategic plan, will need to understand these challenges.  If there is any company with the means to be able to take advantage of this model, however, it will be Constellation Brands.  Their portfolio gives them a great advantage going forward.

Collaborations have no meaning if one plus one does not equal much more than two…

 

 

 

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Mar 132018
 

The upcoming CBC convention is expected to host more than 10,000 people.  This year a participant has the choice of attending an industry convention, seminars, classes or other training sessions most months of the year.  In addition to the CBC, there is the annual NBWA convention, along with similar events hosted by Beer Marketer’s Insights, Beer Business Daily, Beverage Importers Association, and the list goes one.  The aforementioned does not even include all the schools which offer various beer classes or the multitude of online tutorials now available.  Does anyone have any time to actually sell beer anymore?

When Coors expanded into South Texas in the mid-1970s, San Antonio had a local beer wholesaler’s organization.  At this time, the only annual conventions were offered by one’s supplier and the NBWA, the latter of which had a spring and fall meeting.  Remember, this is before the NBWA had exhibition halls full of vendors and new products, all in search of distributors.  The spring event was politically focused, whereas the fall event was industry and supplier focused.  It was that simple.

Local medium-sized and major markets, along with the state, all had beer wholesaler organizations.  All four Coors of San Antonio wholesalers were invited to join the local beer organization.  Attending these monthly meetings was comparable to today’s reality TV.  The meeting consisted of: the local AB wholesaler, Bill Crain, who was seated at one end of the table and John Monfrey, the local Falstaff wholesaler (Falstaff sold over two million cases) who was seated at the other end of the table. In the middle of the table was Jack Williams, the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, and the second largest Schlitz wholesaler in the country with over five million cases. Other attending members included: the Pearl and Lone Star wholesalers, two breweries that were still functioning in the city, and four new Coors wholesalers.

In addition to the fact that John and Bill were typically quite confrontational with each other, the meetings focused on local and state issues, including which political issue and legal issues needed to be supported.  The group also assembled with the intent to aid local charities and events.  As a young sales manager, one could learn a great deal about the industry and one’s competition during such meetings.

I attended the Wichita Beer Wholesalers group while in Kansas as well as the Portland group while in Oregon.  Kansas hosted a state Coors organization and, of course, the state had the Kansas wholesalers’ organization as did the states of Oregon, Utah, Louisiana, and Washington.

As wholesalers began to consolidate throughout the years, the local organizations began to disappear.  Many markets now only have two or three wholesalers, not counting the self-distributing crafts and the independent craft distributors.  Very few, if any, local beer groups exist anymore. Why should they with the myriad of other groups now in existence?  Even at the state level, some states not only have their statewide group of wholesalers; but in addition, they have craft brewers and even state groups of wholesalers with different agendas than the established groups. Many suppliers have wholesaler advisory panels from each state or region.  In reality, a wholesaler could spend all of his or her time just attending meetings.

Those local wholesaler groups have served a purpose for decades and the industry has not been the same without them.

The art of communication is the language of leadership…

 

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Mar 062018
 

It goes without saying that the purchase of the Miller Brewing Company by Philip Morris in the early 1970s was a major transformation in the beer industry.  Philip Morris used its marketing muscle, which had been so instrumental in growing their cigarette business, on their newly purchased beer company.  And the rest is, as they say, history.

The lasting effect of Miller’s sellout went far beyond the marketing prowess of Philip Morris.  This moment marked the transformation from breweries being family owned to breweries being owned by corporations and shareholders.  This business model changed the overall picture of how the industry functioned.

Prior to 1970, breweries and wholesalers were family owned.  Both tiers were on the same page with the same interests and same goals.  Philip Morris initiated that shift away from family ownership, but the full effect of corporate/shareholder ownership would take decades to manifest itself.  Even up until 2008, AB was run by the Busch family as a publicly traded company.  While the Busch family today is gone from AB, Pete Coors is still active at MolsonCoors keeping some of the family traditions alive.

These large corporate breweries today have a different agenda than the family-owned distributors of past years.  Even multi-state mega distributorships like Reyes, are still owned by a family.  Only Columbia in the northwest parallels the corporate ownership model.  Publicly held breweries have to answer to their shareholders and Wall Street.  Distributors only need answer to the family.

Executives at these corporate breweries are measured on their ability to increase shareholder value and dividends.  And often, these same executives are receiving their bonuses based upon the value they impart to the brewery.  If the value is not delivered; these executives do not realize their annual bonus, a figure which can be as much or more than their annual salary.

In a distributorship, as long as the family’s lifestyle is maintained, things remain status quo and all move forward.  Sure there is pressure to increase the profitability of the company, but to the family, there is always the next year.

President Trump’s announcement last week regarding his intent to establish tariffs for both steel and aluminum imports, as expected, has created concern in the beer industry.  If these tariffs go into law, then the industry can expect higher costs for cans, kegs, trucks and other equipment used in the beer industry.  This is not good news for the consumer as many of the increases will be passed on to the consumer.  When Bush the elder, broke his “no new taxes” promise and raised taxes on beer, the industry came to an abrupt halt and remained that way for years.

The corporately owned breweries will, without hesitation, raise prices; whereas the craft family-owned brewers must decide whether to raise prices and suffer the pushback, or eat the increased costs, and make less money.   Distributors see the situation differently, but ultimately it will have a negative impact upon their volume as well.  Just ask wholesalers from the early 90s. With the exception of the Modelo wholesalers, all had an increase in price.

Family owned distributors and craft brewers would rather wait, take a step back and see what will happen.   The corporate environment, on the other hand, will most likely rush to ensure their breweries hit their corporate goals.  Welcome to the corporate world!

The beer industry is one big family…

 

 Posted by at 7:00 am
Feb 272018
 

Business planning, as the industry knows it today, did not exist in 1970. At that time, the industry was in the early stages of transitioning from a pre-World War II model into what we know today.  Single brand DSD distributors did little, if any, planning.  Supervisors were glorified route salesmen who, when not filling in and pulling a route, sat in bars and bought rounds of beer.  Brewery reps were expected to do the same, buying beers from the time breakfast ended and throughout the evening.  Some brewery reps had trade expense accounts greater than their monthly salaries.

By the mid-1970s, however, planning began to take shape.  The national brands focused on a simple, yet effective model of vertical and horizontal distribution.  This model tied into their account classification, which was tied to their volume.  Accounts were classified as AA, A, B, or C accounts.

The annual plan was simple: maintain the volume in the hand-full of AA accounts while working to move the other accounts to the next higher level.  Such movement was typically achieved by expanding packages in distribution and retail execution for ad activity and displays.  This was a simple yet effective plan.

AA accounts were always off-premise, while the on-premise accounts were all about tap handles.  Distributors had a report on each on-premise account that included all the beers on tap.   Rotating handles did not exist as each wholesaler had their targeted account list.  Incentives were designed to get those competitive handles. And the incentives typically translated into the form of a bounty.

Monthly business reviews did not exist either. In fact, when a brewery rep came to visit, their focus was on checking inventory, placing orders and reviewing current sales trends.  The rep’s goal was to determine if they were on track to make their sales goals. This basically translated into: “Are you going to help me make my annual bonus?”

Fast forward to today and the business plans are all over the board.  Many craft brewers have no idea how to construct or manage a plan, much less execute one.  Wholesalers are now driving the planning cycle by developing their own in-house planning and monthly reviews.  Distribution is now centered on the type of account. In other words the account focuses on a certain type of beer style.  Chains focus on ROS (rate of sale) and POD (points of distribution).

In addition to a concentration on the number of reps in the market available to see one’s beer, wholesalers today are concerned about a vendor’s support effort and model.  Considering the number of vendors a wholesaler now represents, does this really surprise anyone?  This lack of focus on the brand explains why craft brewers continue to push back on the wholesaler.

Monthly reviews or recaps are necessary to measure the expected performance of the brand, as well as the performance of both the brewer and the wholesaler. Such reviews can be very productive despite the fact that the results are frequently not what one would expect.  Under these conditions, both sides have to be realistic and open to discussions regarding moving forward.

Over time, these meetings will ultimately determine the type of relationship each party expects and wants, but they can be uncomfortable.

You change your business plan to anticipate and adapt to changes in the marketplace…

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 7:00 am
Feb 202018
 

Corona Premier, Modelo’s line extension, targeted specifically at Michelob Ultra, is this week rolling out across the country.  Another line extension from AB, Michelob Ultra-Pure Gold, another low carb and low calorie beer will also be rolled out.  Remember, last year, Heineken also went after Ultra with Amstel Xlight, albeit with little success.

In early 2018, IRI numbers are trending similarly to recent years’ trends, with the big three: Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite, all continuing to slide, although Miller Lite was slightly up.  Michelob Ultra continues to fly with an increase of 23%+.  Interestingly, in addition to the major suppliers starting to target specifically Michelob Ultra, more and more crafts are coming up with low ABV, calorie and low carb beers, ALL under the term sessionable!

Given that the industry seems to be shifting back toward light beers, why then are the big three struggling to turn around their sales?  Perhaps the industry is looking at a classic case of these three brands serving as studies in the product lifecycle.  Remember, all three brands were introduced in the 1970s, which means that Miller Lite, the first one introduced, will soon be 50 years old.  Coors light followed Miller Lite, which was followed by Budweiser Light (Bud Light).

So the question is: is the decline in sales for the big three due to the product lifecycle, or is it an issue is a marketing life cycle? Given the success of Ultra, one would think these three beers are declining due to the marketing lifecycle.  If many crafts are entering the market with their version of light beers, it would have to be the marketing.

Oddly, Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Bud light all have one item in common. None of the other beers have the term “light” in their name or on their branding.  Jim Koch, for years resisted introducing a light beer, but eventually did so with the introduction of Sam Light.  Certainly a lighter version of Sam Adams, but Sam Light was not anywhere near the liquid of the domestic lights.  It was a viable brand, but not another Ultra.

Miller Lite, Coors Light and Bud Light were all line extensions, lighter versions of their longtime beers.  For years, these three brands grew regardless of the level of marketing support. It was not until 2008 that these brands turned negative, and they have been in decline ever since.

The brands being brought to market by the crafts brewers, however, are not line extensions. They are new brands with names that indicate “light” without saying “light.” These brands include: All Day IPA, Nooner, and Dayblazer, to name a few.

Is it that simple?  If it was, would not AB and MC already have understood this?  The next latest and greatest beer might be sitting in a wholesaler’s warehouse, in the back corner, on a partial pallet. And 20 years from now, Bud Light, Miller Lite or Coors Light might just be in that same back corner on a partial pallet.

The strength of brand loyalty begins with how your product makes people feel.

 

 Posted by at 7:00 am
Feb 132018
 

For as long as I can recall, every major supplier has in some way, focused on marketing their products to the female consumer.  Once again, this topic is front and center at many winter and early spring wholesaler meetings.  As the overall industry continues to lose volume to other types of drinks, one way in which to aid the industry is marketing to the female consumer. This is nothing new.

Before light beers, Coors Banquet was one of the very first beers to actually have some success selling to the female market.  Coors had a tagline, “America’s Fine Light Beer,” and the beer was sold in a tall, slim can, similar to today’s Michelob Ultra packaging.  Light beers aided in adding volume, but when the first RTDs came to market, it looked as though the industry finally had a product-focused straight for women.  Soon Bartle and James arrived on the scene, followed by Mikes Hard Lemonade and others.

While these products resulted in additional female consumers, the beer industry continued to fall behind the sales of wine and flavored spirits.  The most recent product category to impact the female market was the Not Your Father’s Root Beer and related flavors which are sweet to the taste. Retailers quickly created serving suggestions, including NYFRB atop ice cream resulting in a root beer float.  Such specialty drinks did well, but all were short-lived.  As recently noted, NYFRB sales were down 60% and still trending down. Finally, ciders added a small bump with females, but that category, too, has recently moved to negative trends.

A recent extension, based on wine’s success, might be the liquid to finally jump start beers’ market share with the female segment.  Rose’ ales and ciders are the new, latest and greatest flavor to hit the market.  Cidergeist Bubbles, a rose’ ale from Rhinegeist in Cincinnati, is now producing 20% of the volume and growth.  According to the brewery, Rhinegest cannot keep up with the demand.  Now the big boys are all jumping in as Boston Beers has Angry Orchard’s Rose’ and MC will have Crispin Rose’.  Expect AB to add a product in this category.  Although smaller brewers will have a rose’ expect, as always, that the big boys will own this category. Even Ballast Point will have a rose’ supported by Constellation brands and their team.  Look to see rose’ everywhere.

The question is, will rose’ be the long sought-after breakthrough product for females, or will rose’ be just one more product to rocket up and then fall back within a short time?  Distributors and retailers, now in tune with these specialty flavors, will probably stand back and watch at first, making as much profit as they can until the industry sees what kind of legs rose’ possesses.

Will rose’ be another NYFRB, or will it be the next Blue Moon?  Will we know by the end of the year?

Buffalo wings and ciders is all I need…

 

 

 Posted by at 7:00 am
Feb 062018
 

Two major sporting events were held this past Sunday, the Super Bowl, and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  The water cooler conversations this week has focused on the football game and, of course, the halftime show and the Super Bowl commercials. As we know, many people watch the Super Bowl simply for the commercials.

Over the years, AB has not only been the company with the most commercials, AB has also won the best commercial award multiple times.  This year, a 30-second commercial was said to have cost around $5 million dollars.  At the time of writing this post, the first viewership numbers for the Super Bowl just became available, however, if this year’s trends continue, viewership for the game has been declining by around -7%.  AB, or any advertiser, cannot be pleased with these numbers even though millions still watched the game.

There are a number of reasons viewership of pro football is down.  Much of the reason is due to cord cutting and costs, but no doubt, the political and abuse issue actions by the NFL and their players have had a negative effect on viewers.  More than likely, even if AB chose not to advertise at the Super Bowl, some other major brewery would have jumped in and bought the available spots.  There are still millions of people watching the game.

Yet, some years ago, the Phoenix Open made the decision to be the golf tournament which would be played on the week of the Super Bowl.  This golf tournament, put on by the Thunderbird organization, annually has the largest attendance of any PGA tournament around.  The goal of tournament officials is to end the final round just prior to kick off of the Super Bowl.  And fortunately, this has successfully happened every year.

In last year’s tournament, attendance on Saturday was around 200K people. This year the Thunderbirds are anticipating up to 220K people on Saturday.  Attendance for the week exceeded 700K people, an amazing fact!

The Phoenix Open and the Thunderbirds have used the proceeds from the tournament for various local charities and have given away millions throughout the years. Since 2010, more than $50 million has been donated.  All in all, the PGA tour has given billions to charity. In every city in which a tournament is held, local charities benefit from professional golf.

In 2019, Michelob Ultra, the fastest growing beer in the U.S., might be the second largest selling brand in the country, surpassing both Miller Lite and Coors Light in dollar sales. Ultra has been the longtime beer sponsor of the PGA, a fact that most certainly has helped Ultra.

In fairness to the NFL, they do contribute to charitable organizations and many star players donate to their charity of choice.  The NFL issues are political, drug use and abuse.  On the other hand, the PGA issues deal with slow play and on-course rules.

In some way, it is almost like two sports going in two different directions… not unlike Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.

The character of a people may be ruined by charity…

 

 Posted by at 7:00 am