Open deal a hole in one

Sponsorship could boost pub whisky sales

Teaming up: Loch Lomond Group chief executive, Colin Matthews, with Martin Slumbers of organiser The R&A

A SCOTTISH drinks firm will look to leverage its sponsorship of golf tournament The Open to raise its profile in the on-trade this summer.

Loch Lomond Group last month announced that its Loch Lomond Whiskies brand had been signed as an official sponsor of The Open for the next five years.

The deal will see branding for Loch Lomond Whiskies appearing prominently throughout the tournament, with a hospitality area at the event itself serving several limited edition whiskies.

And the company is also planning a range of activity to raise the profile of the sponsorship and the brand in the wider trade.

Muriel Raguenaud, marketing director for Loch Lomond Group, said: “We are planning a range of in-outlet activation and point of sale to capitalise on our partnership with The Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open both in the UK and in international markets. This could consist of malt of the month activity or offering consumers the chance to win tickets to attend this year’s Open at Carnoustie.”

There will also be a range of suggested serves created by brand ambassador Ibon Mendiguren and themed around The Open. New suggested serves will be created for each of the five years of the partnership.

And Raguenaud reckoned the timing of the tournament – between July 15 and July 22 – is ideal for those in the hospitality industry.

“July is also a busy month for tourists in Scotland when The Open is held, so offering a broad range of quality single malts is a great way to introduce the ‘Spirit of The Open’ to their customers,” she said.

Outside of the on-trade, Loch Lomond Group will be hosting various events in the UK and overseas to tie in with the sponsorship.

The tie-up with The Open is the latest significant investment from the Loch Lomond Group since Colin Matthews took ownership of the firm in 2014.

Since then the company claims to have invested £25 million improving its production facilities.

In addition to the Loch Lomond blended and single malt whiskies, Loch Lomond Whiskies also incorporates the Inchmurrin and Inchmoan single malts, while the Loch Lomond Group’s wider portfolio includes Glen’s vodka and blended whisky High Commissioner.

“This partnership with The Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open will provide platforms to grow further both in the UK and internationally,” said Raguenaud.

“Over the next five years we are looking for a significant increase in awareness in our range of award-winning single malts and to accelerate growth in international markets.”