Coronavirus: Diageo’s world class search postponed

Diageo’s brand ambassadors will be posting a series of videos demonstrating cocktail masterclasses which can be tried at home

SPIRITS giant Diageo has postponed its 2020 World Class Global Final in Sydney due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company’s annual final to crown the world’s top bartender – which was held in Glasgow venue SWG3 last year  – will instead go ahead in 2021.

The company said all local finals, including the UK leg of the World Class competition, will also take place at a later date.

A spokesperson for Diageo said: “I know that this news comes at a very challenging time for the on-trade. Our brands have already committed funds to support bartenders directly, coming up with innovative solutions to support wherever possible.

“Our World Class team has been working hard in recent days to extend our online training programmes, to provide enhanced digital resources and webinars.

“Once it is safe and sensible, we will be continuing our programme of World Class Cocktail Festivals and will have more information to share on this soon.”

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Diageo is also launching a series of social media takeovers, led by brand ambassadors, to ensure a steady stream of resources are still available for members of the trade.

Ambassadors from Diageo’s spirit portfolio, including Johnnie Walker, Belsazar vermouth and Ketel One vodka, will post three videos each day on the World Class GB and Diageo Bar Academy social media pages of cocktail masterclasses which can be tried out at home.

Jason Clark, World Class and Talisker brand ambassador, who is hosting the first social media session at 1pm today (March 25) said: “Our team of GB Brand Ambassadors are usually out and about, visiting various bar teams. Faced with this unusual amount of time at home on our hands, we wanted to put this time to good use and reach out to the bartending community to inspire and educate so that people can stay in touch on social media and learn new skills whilst out of the usual bar environment.

“A few of the team have some extra skills up their sleeve too – so you might see some added content away from the usual cocktail videos, to keep everyone entertained. We’re all in this together!”