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News Briefs for May 13, 2014

May 13, 2014

•Anheuser-Busch InBev is rolling out a new global campaign in support of its Stella Artois beer brand. Running under the title “World’s Greatest Events,” the campaign features a series of 12 short films depicting the dedication and perfectionism that goes into hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting events. The new push ties into Stella Artois’ ongoing sponsorship of The Open golf championship, as well as its multi-year partnership with All England Lawn Tennis Club’s Wimbledon Championship. Launching this week with a TV spot in the U.K., “World’s Greatest Events” will eventually expand across 25 global markets, including the U.S., France and Argentina. An Impact “Hot Brand,” Stella Artois was up 12% last year, to 22 million (2.25-gallon) cases in the U.S. market.

•Heineken USA has launched a new global marketing campaign for its namesake lager under the tagline “Cities of the World.” The push includes a new television ad as well as limited edition Heineken bottles. 30- and 60-second versions of Heineken’s “The City” TV spot will run across broadcast and digital platforms in the U.S., with a longer version featured on the Heineken YouTube channel. In addition to the ad, limited edition bottles will include a print featuring one of six global cities: New York, Shanghai, Berlin, Amsterdam, London and Rio de Janeiro.

•Hess Family Estates’ Napa-based Hess Collection has revamped its sales organization, expanding its existing structure from three divisions to four. The new structure includes the Northeast, Southeast, Central and West divisions. To support the change, vice president Brian Batridge, who had been leading the Hess Collection’s Central Division, will now oversee the national field sales and Northeast, Southeast, Central and West divisions, while vice president Chris Ireland, previously in charge of the Eastern division, will spearhead a new national accounts unit focused on on-premise and chain retail channels. Meanwhile, senior vice president/national sales director Jill Goodrich-Collas will leave the company after helping to implement the restructure in the coming weeks.

•Panache Beverage, marketer of the Wodka vodka and Alibi whiskey brands among others, has been issued a notice of default by its senior lender Consilium Corporate Recovery Master Fund LTD. Under a forbearance agreement, however, Consilium has pledged not to exercise any of its rights related to the loan in question for a period ending June 6, and has released additional funds to Panache that were previously held in escrow. Panache is currently reviewing its business and says it’s made “significant strides” toward reducing overhead, revising its sales strategy and hiring a new executive team. Former president and CEO James Dale, COO Agata Podedworny and vice president of sales Sjoerd de Jong resigned last month. Michael Romer, managing director of Panache, is serving as interim president and CEO.

•The Beer Institute’s board of directors has appointed James McGreevy III as president and CEO, effective June 23. McGreevy joins the Beer Institute from the American Beverage Association, where he has served as senior vice president of government affairs since 2005. He succeeds Joe McClain, who departed in December.

•Clos du Bois founder Frank Woods passed away May 8 in San Francisco at the age of 81. A Tennessee native, Woods began Clos du Bois, situated in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, with former Cornell University classmate Tom Reed in the early 1970s. He succeeded in building a strong presence for the premium California label in the U.S. wine market before selling it to U.K. beverage group Allied-Lyons in 1988. Now owned by Constellation, Clos du Bois remains among the top premium California wine brands in the U.S., at more than 1.7 million cases.

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