Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for May 18, 2011

May 18, 2011

• Movie director Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) is spearheading Captain Morgan’s latest ad effort. The campaign, titled “To Life, Love and Loot,” is centered around exploits of real-life privateer and rum icon Captain Henry Morgan. The first spot of the new campaign, “Dive,” will begin airing on TV next month. An extended version of the ad can now be seen on the Captain Morgan USA Facebook page and the brand’s YouTube channel.

• AB-InBev’s Budweiser brand is launching an online reality show entitled “Bud United Presents: The Big Time.” Premiering later this year on sites like YouTube and Facebook, the hour-long episodes will be backed by a multi-platform campaign and will feature four individuals—cast via social media sites—competing for a chance to achieve their lifestyle-, sports- and entertainment-related aspirations.

• Wirtz Beverage has tapped company veteran Kevin Roberts to lead its Nevada unit as senior vice president, effective September 1st, reporting directly to Wirtz Beverage president Rocky Wirtz. He replaces Ray Norvell, who will become vice chairman of Wirtz Nevada. Roberts will transition from his current role as vice president of Wirtz Beverage Illinois Regal Division. Prior to joining Wirtz Beverage Illinois in 2008, Roberts held numerous industry positions including vice president of sales for California and sales director for the New York metro market for Diageo.

• Crown Imports has introduced Corona Extra’s “Corona Beach Getaway” sweepstakes, which the company claims is the biggest retail promotion in the brand’s history. Active until July 31, the contest gives consumers a chance to win one of 100 trips to Mexico by collecting bottles and cans with unique codes. The codes are eligible to be entered into a random drawing, which in addition to the getaway, will feature more than 1,700 assorted Corona-branded prizes.

• Ft Lauderdale-based Flanigan’s Enterprises Inc, owner and operator of Flanigan’s Seafood Bar & Grill and Big Daddy’s retail liquor stores, announced total revenues of $36.9 million for the 26 weeks ended April 2, 2011, a 2.3% increase on the year-earlier period. Restaurant food and bar sales grew nearly 3% to just over $29 million, while package liquor store sales rose 0.2% to $7.2 million. In the 13 weeks through April 2, the company’s total revenues rose 1.1%. Flanigan’s operates 22 Flanigan’s Seafood Bar & Grill locations and 13 Big Daddy’s liquor store outposts throughout South Florida.

• Bennigan’s Franchising Co has named Paul Mangiamele as its president and ceo. He takes over from David Goronkin, who is leaving at the end of the month to become president and ceo of Real Mex Restaurants Inc. Mangiamele, 58, most recently was president and ceo of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, a fast causal Mexican chain. Last year Bennigan’s began a company-wide revamp, of its restaurants, shifting to a more casual neighborhood bar focus.

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