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Mancan cracking the former beer-only domain: Sports marketing

September 6, 2018

Mancan cracking the former beer-only domain: Sports marketing

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Mancan, a Cleveland-based wine company, is cracking what once was the exclusive domain of beer: Sports marketing.

If you watched any of the Cleveland Browns preseason games it would be tough not to notice the scoreboard bug on the screen touting Mancan, wine in a can. And you’re going to be seeing more this season, in Cleveland and elsewhere, co-owner Graham Veysey said.

“We’re really excited, especially with the regular season kicking off,” he said. The Browns open the regular season at home vs. Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.

Mancan’s owners have made a targeted approach to gain visibility in a bastion where beer – often pedestrian lagers – ruled. It is seen by thousands in FirstEnergy Stadium, a soccer stadium in Phoenix, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and Dodger Stadium. Someone even called Veysey and said, “Hey, I saw Mancan on ESPN!”

Veysey said from the start, he hoped Mancan would be considered as a “go-to” choice, but also as an “option for tailgating.”

“The team (Browns) gets it; it enhances the fan experience,” he said. “You don’t spill half of it when walking to your seat.”

Part of that fan experience, Veysey said, is giving people options other than beer.

“We don’t think of it as a zero-sum game,” he said. “We see folks who enjoy wine, and who might not have that option, realize they now have that option at places like FirstEnergy Stadium, or at the House of Blues or Blossom (Music Center) or Progressive Field.”

Mancan’s name was broadcast in three of the Browns’ four preseason games, gaining visibility from being flashed on the scoreboard screen bug, exterior video boards, LED sideline boards and other places.

At one point, as cameras caught quarterback Brogan Roback checking plays on his wristband in the third quarter, a tag appeared above the score: “Awesome wine in a can.”

Mancan was founded in 2015 as the first exclusive wine-in-a-can company by Veysey and childhood pal Fisk Biggar. It markets rosé, red, white and Fizz, a semi-sparkling wine, in 16 states and Washington, D.C., plus Canada.

Veysey did not disclose terms of the Browns deal, saying only it is a “heavy lift for still a startup,” but says he already is seeing “a significant amount of exposure for us.”

“People are already commenting on it, as we continue trying to disrupt the notion that wine is for special occasions,” he said.

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