Interviews

Published on September 16th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Chelsea Phillips On BON & VIV’s 2019 Work With The NFL, ESPN’s Adam Schefter & Future Plans

​In time with the kick-off of the 2019 NFL season, “hard seltzer” innovator BON & VIV staged a stunt that got millions of people talking. Spoiler-free here, but BON & VIV offered a $1,000 challenge to everyday people who had tasted BON & VIV Classic next to competitor White Claw Pure.

That aforementioned polygraph was administered by Hollywood’s notorious polygraph expert (and reality television staple) John Grogan, while ESPN regular Adam Schefter — as also regularly heard on 104.3 KKFN in Denver, Colorado, ESPN 980 in Washington D.C., ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Illinois, and 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia — joined into the unique promotion as an “NFL truth-teller.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chelsea Phillips, VP of Beyond Beer Brands at Anheuser-Busch — a huge fan of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers — about working with Schefter, the upcoming NFL season (now in the midst of Week 2), the NFL’s Super Bowl, and more on behalf of The Hype Magazine.

BON & VIV recently ran a great campaign with John Grogan and Adam Schefter. How long did that one take to come together?

Chelsea Phillips: Working closely with our agency and internal teams – 3 PM and Draftline – we were able to pull the project together relatively quickly and efficiently! John Grogan was perfect for the job since he’s Hollywood’s notorious polygraph expert. We recruited him to conduct our ultimate #SeltzerShowdown where we hooked participants up to a polygraph and offered them $1,000 if they honestly preferred the taste of White Claw Pure over our BON & VIV Classic, a spotlight on BON & VIV’s great taste.

We thought it would be fun to have John hook up NFL truth-teller Adam Schefter to the lie detector as well to try BON & VIV, support the program and break the news that BON & VIV is now “the Official Hard Seltzer Sponsor” of the NFL in a unique way.

What about the new tie-in with the NFL? Was that in the works for a long time?

Chelsea Phillips: We’re thrilled that BON & VIV is now “the Official Hard Seltzer Sponsor of the NFL,” a first for the brand and the seltzer segment. With the “summer of seltzer” still in full swing, it’s clear that people are looking for beverage options in addition to beer. We felt it was the perfect time to bring BON & VIV into one of the most popular drinking occasions.

Is this partnership with the NFL the first official sports tie-in for BON & VIV?

Chelsea Phillips: After our brand revamp early this year, we debuted BON & VIV in a Super Bowl commercial, which was the largest sports stage we had put the brand on up until now. An official partnership with the NFL is a great continuation of the brand showing up for football fans. We’ve found that fans love drinking BON & VIV in the stadium, on-premise, at tailgates, and at home for sporting events, and we want to keep fueling that flame. Even outside of football, this summer BON & VIV was available in most MLB stadiums.

Is there anything unique or surprising about the partnership beyond it being a sponsorship? Will any NFL players be involved?

Chelsea Phillips: I think that BON & VIV being the first-ever official hard seltzer sponsor of the NFL is surprising in itself! It’s a huge testament to how far the hard seltzer category has come. It’s booming and not slowing down, expected to be a $2.5 billion industry by 2020.

As of now, I can share that the sponsorship will include the opportunity to use the NFL shield on assets, a dedicated TV spend in NFL games starting in mid-September, digital banners and spots on live-streams on NFL.com and Twitter pre-roll on NFL content. Fans can also find 16 oz. cans of BON & VIV in 27 NFL stadiums across the country.

Do you have an NFL team that you personally cheer for?

Chelsea Phillips: Carolina Panthers.

What about teams outside of the NFL?

Chelsea Phillips: I bleed Carolina blue — a big fan of Roy’s Boys!

NFL aside, what is coming up for BON & VIV in the coming months?

Chelsea Phillips: BON & VIV Classic is a focus for us this fall and into the holiday hosting season because it’s the perfect base for your favorite holiday cocktails. Other than that, you’ll have to wait and see. We expect 2020 to be a big year!

When not busy with BON & VIV or Beyond, where does your free time usually go?

Chelsea Phillips: I take advantage of New York City and spend a ton of time at Broadway shows or concerts.

What was the last live sporting event you attended?

Chelsea Phillips: I’m embarrassed to say this, but I think it was the Super Bowl — immediately booking a Yankees outing!

Finally, Chelsea, any last words for the kids?

Chelsea Phillips: It’s cool to be kind.


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About the Author

is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He has been a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.


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