Moosehead Radler wants to play in the ‘beer leagues’

Who: Moosehead Breweries, with Conflict for strategy and creative, Craft Public Relations for PR, media buying by Media Experts.

What: “Team Refresh,” a campaign positioning Moosehead’s radlers—beer mixed with fruit juice—as the ultimate summer refreshment by sponsoring “beer league” teams.

When & Where: The campaign kicked off June 2. This is a largely social and PR driven campaign, focused on Ontario and pushing people to the “Team Refresh” website. The program is also rolling out through a partnership with the recreational sports club JAM Sports, which is promoting the campaign through its list. Teams hoping to land a Moosehead Radler sponsorship have until June 10 to apply.

Why: With BIG beer brands so closely aligned with BIG sports leagues, Moosehead and Conflict were looking for a way to connect with the legions of sports fans who will be getting together with their friends this summer to play softball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, dodgeball or another game of choice.

Two of the most beloved traditions of recreational leagues are funny team names and cold refreshments when the game is over. Team Refresh is about both.

“On a hot summer day, there’s no beer more refreshing than Moosehead Radler,” said Sarah Smith, Moosehead’s brand manager, innovation, in a release. “So a summer sports sponsorship was a natural fit—but we wanted to give the idea a fresh twist. We’re skipping the major leagues and going straight to the beer leagues, where we truly belong.”

How: The campaign kicks off by inviting people to sign up for a chance to become one of the eight Moosehead Radler teams, complete with a new name, jerseys, Moosehead Radler swag, free post-game refreshments, and a $1,000 league credit.

Team names created by Conflict include the Rad Dads (“You don’t have to be a dad to be a Rad Dad,” explains a team description. “You just need a juicy zest for life, a love for denim and a set of BBQ tongs to click together before totally roasting your opponents”); the Thirst Trappers and the Bench Quenchers.

The rec league sponsorships and the partnership with JAM Sport is a fun way to position Moosehead Radler as “the ultimate summer refreshment,” said Niall Kelly, Conflict’s creative director.

The agency has already created some social ads, but plans to do more with teams once they are chosen in order to amplify the messaging. “We can use the content we capture from those teams to amplify that idea and really play up the post-game aspects of getting out of being a little active but not taking things too seriously… see your friends, maybe break a sweat and hit a patio after,” he said.

And while the campaign has just started, it has garnered a lot of interest early, said Kelly. “We launched on Wednesday and we already have 500-plus submissions.”

David Brown