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

News Briefs for July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014

•The New England Patriots have filed a lawsuit against Bacardi, charging the drinks group with breach of contract. The Patriots say Bacardi backed out of a 10-year, multi-million-dollar sponsorship deal that included construction of a 20,000-square-foot Bacardi-branded pavilion at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Bacardi has denied the charges, stating that it will “vigorously defend” its position. The Patriots and Bacardi originally forged their marketing partnership last summer, agreeing to stadium, website and broadcast advertising. The Patriots say both parties began negotiating an expanded partnership last fall, anchored by the pavilion project. A formal agreement is not believed to have been signed. Set to be completed by September 1, the pavilion plan was allegedly on track through early April, when the Patriots claim Bacardi abruptly dropped out.

•The Fladgate Partnership is launching a new limited edition Artist Series pack for its Fonseca Bin 27 Port label this September. The 2014 Bin 27 Artist Series installment is packaged in a stylized gift box featuring work by U.S. artist Erik Parker. The limited edition supports the Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit protecting waterways. The Bin 27 Artist Series was introduced in 2012 with special packaging featuring the work of Portuguese graphic designer Sebastião Rodrigues. Fonseca Bin 27 was launched 40 years ago as a ruby-style Port blended from reserve wines and aged for four years in neutral wood vats before bottling. Imported by Kobrand, Bin 27 is 20%-abv and retails at $20.99.

•Liqs Cocktail Shots is expanding its distribution footprint to Texas and Massachusetts after its debut in southern Florida last November. The brand has also recently expanded statewide in Florida with Southern Wine & Spirits and secured its first major chain account with Winn-Dixie. Beginning August 1, Glazer’s will distribute the ready-to-drink shot beverage in Texas and United Liquors will bring it to Massachusetts. The Liqs line includes four flavors—Tequila Cinnamon Orange, Vodka Cucumber Lime, Vodka Lychee Grapefruit and Vodka Kamikaze—and is sold in three-packs of 50-ml. plastic shot glasses with a suggested retail price of $7.99. The company is planning on releasing two new flavors later this year.

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