Diageo ties with David Beckham for new scotch whisky brand
Diageo has signed football icon David Beckham and his manager Simon Fuller to front the global launch of its Haig Club single grain scotch whisky brand.
The variant has been created in partnership with the duo who will also play what Diageo says is a “fundamental” role in developing the brand’s marketing strategy and positioning. It will be promoted as “hugely versatile spirit” when it launches later this year.
The marketing strategy will involve touting the drink’s heritage as Diageo joins the list of alcohol maker’s emphasising the history behind their brands to appeal to younger drinkers. The spirit’s name is derived from its origin, the “House of Haig”, a 400 year-old dynasty of whisky distillers.
David Gates, Diageo’s global head of premium core spirits: “Whisky is experiencing a continued global renaissance and like many of the world’s most respected whisky experts, we believe this will be the year that grain whisky breaks into the mainstream and gains the recognition it deserves.
”Diageo has a proven track record in scotch whisky innovation and we have applied this expertise through the ‘House of Haig’ in liquid development and craftsmanship, creating a sophisticated new whisky in Haig Club.”
Beckham, who has never backed a spirits brand, will also lead the scotch whisky’s responsible drinking programme.
Diageo is hoping Beckham’s star power can help boost whisky sales as it looks to create new revenue streams from the category. The spirits maker’s Scotch whisky sales jumped 2 per cent in the six months to December but declined 4 per cent in volume terms.
It is not the first time Diageo has turned to celebrities to raise the profile of its brands. Earlier this year, it revealed plans to exploit the upmarket tequila category with the help of rap artist and entrepreneur Sean Combs. The Johnnie Walker maker has agreed a 50/50 tie-up with the celebrity to purchase ultra-premium tequila brand DeLeon in the hopes of repeating the same success both have had with Ciroc vodka.