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Partnership Reports

Alcohol Marketing Partnerships Report 2023

September 28, 2023

The US market for alcoholic beverages, valued at $1.6 billion last year, is expected to top $2 billion by 2031, as America’s collective thirst for the world’s most popular recreational substance endures. Meanwhile, there are many changes afoot within this evergreen industry. Last year, spirits sales edged out beer sales, 42.1% to 41.9%, respectively, for the first time in at least two decades. And alcohol manufacturers are rapidly diversifying their offerings in step with consumers’ changing palates.

As the popularity of craft cocktails grows, younger consumers, whose legions are drinking 20% less alcohol on average than millennials—are seeking more low-alcohol options, like hard seltzers, a red-hot sector where new brands appear seemingly overnight. Their soaring popularity reflects a $17.2 billion market in the US in 2023, which is projected to grow a robust 8.5% annually through 2027. The ongoing evolution of alcohol sponsorships mirrors this dynamic industry landscape. While beer brands’ dominance in sports continues, wine companies are zeroing in on tennis as a way to connect with sophisticated, affluent fans.

In broader entertainment contexts, spirits brands—whose sponsorships comprised 48% of all new deals since 2021—and Ready to Drink (RTD) cocktail manufacturers, whose partnerships nearly tripled over the same period, are targeting consumers at concerts and music festivals, which continue to attract emerging brands keen to cultivate the loyalty of attendees with disposable income to spare.

As the alcoholic beverage sponsorship universe continues to evolve, we’re proud to unveil our inaugural Alcohol Marketing Partnerships Report 2023. Authored jointly by SponsorUnited’s Marketing Research & Insights, Analytics, and Marketing teams, it delivers an in-depth analysis of more than 1,735 brands, 21,550 assets, and over 18,600 social posts from January 2021 through September 2023.

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