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Thursday, July 21, 2022

What’s the Deal With Major League Baseball’s Bizarre New ‘Official Vodka’?

In early July, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced a sponsorship with vodka brand Distill Brands International (DBI)....

Spirit-loving baseball fans may be eager to get their hands on the products. However, the MLB’s July 8 release states that they won’t be available until early 2023 — and, at that, only in three states. As the sponsorship grows, DBI promises to expand beyond New York, Florida, and California to restaurants and retail locations across North America.

Those looking for a preview on what’s to come via DBI’s prior, non-MLB offerings will come up similarly short. The company’s website showcases only the soon-to-launch branded bags of cocktails and flavored shots, among multiple “coming soon” pages. In fact, there’s little evidence that DBI existed as a spirits producer or brand prior to the deal, which poses the question of what came first: the partnership or product?

The answer to that appears to be the product — sort of.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 12:15 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sponsorships

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Traderdave Posted: July 21, 2022 at 12:58 PM (#6087609)
MLB steaks to debut in '24, and MLB University as soon as practicable.
   2. Hank Gillette Posted: July 21, 2022 at 03:20 PM (#6087632)
They will be able to use pictures of Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle and other famous ML alcoholics on the labels of the bottles.

This goes great with getting into bed with gambling interests. Next: the official cigarette of MLB.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 03:39 PM (#6087644)
What's the logic behind a new vodka brand. Are 100 versions of a tasteless beverage not enough? I don't really even understand having a brand preference for vodka. Once you get above the plastic bottle grade, it all tastes the same.
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 03:45 PM (#6087648)
Next: the official cigarette of MLB.

Vape pens would work better for attracting today's youth.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: July 21, 2022 at 04:35 PM (#6087663)
The Cubs have an official bourbon -- one of the famous ones though, not some fly-by-night operation. But as long as the check clears.

I imagine a similar article in a spirits industry mag wondering why in the world a new brand trying to generate excitement would think baseball was a good choice for doing that.

Classic Soviet-era Stoly was pretty fine stuff. Once the Wall fell, they started over-producing it since it was one of the few assets they had. But agree that if the best compliment you can pay is that it is "smooth" you can only get so excited.

Skye Bolt playing for the A's today. That's a good baseball day.
   6. Tin Angel Posted: July 21, 2022 at 04:50 PM (#6087666)
Nothing mixes better than vodka and tonic...except for maybe gambling and baseball. Have a shot and place a bet...batter up!
   7. NaOH Posted: July 21, 2022 at 10:23 PM (#6087720)
What's the logic behind a new vodka brand. Are 100 versions of a tasteless beverage not enough? I don't really even understand having a brand preference for vodka. Once you get above the plastic bottle grade, it all tastes the same.


Let's put aside the seeming dubiousness of the company MLB has partnered with for now. What's said here is accurate. But there are pluses to selling vodka. It's inexpensive to make. It's kind of an adage among distillers that, "Vodka pays the bills." It's easy to sell and it's one of the biggest selling spirits out there (haven't checked, maybe the biggest).

Since there isn't really any difference among various vodka brands, it becomes a branding exercise which usually pays off quickly in recouping the costs of production and distribution, and, more importantly, establishing a brand for entry into other alcohol categories. MLB does have brand recognition, so as long as the sport is comfortable associating itself this closely with alcohol, it's kind of a no-brainer as a starting point. Which makes it odd that they didn't partner with an established producer instead of what appears to be a one-person company with no track record.
   8. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 21, 2022 at 10:46 PM (#6087722)
When is Manfred due to announce the official firearm of MLB because nothing combines better then alcohol and firearms.

   9. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6087807)
Aren't vodkas made from a bunch of different grains? I have a friend with a corn allergy that can't have certain alcohols, like Tito's. I don't drink enough vodka to know if they taste different (if they have taste at all).
   10. John Reynard Posted: July 22, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6087841)
What's the logic behind a new vodka brand. Are 100 versions of a tasteless beverage not enough? I don't really even understand having a brand preference for vodka. Once you get above the plastic bottle grade, it all tastes the same.


I have a fairly discerning palate just in general and can taste difference between some of the higher end vodkas (for example Reyka is unusually nice). I assume the difference is mainly in what grains went into it and perhaps the starting water. Perhaps Iceland has really clean water? I will concur that 95% of the value is putting it in ceramic/glass instead of plastic though as I can't stand anything with plastic taste.

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