The multiyear partnership is billed as the largest ever for a craft brewery with Major League Baseball.
Beer and baseball have a long history together. The St. Louis Cardinals have played on a field known as Busch Stadium since 1953. The Colorado Rockies have been in Coors Field since 1995. And the Milwaukee Brewers started playing home games in Miller Park in 2001. That’s all three of America’s largest beer brands directly tied to the baseball team in their hometown. But even though Samuel Adams might not move as much beer as those guys—and Fenway Park will still be called Fenway Park—Boston’s largest homegrown beer brand has just made a major announcement: It’s entered into a multiyear partnership to become “the official beer of the Boston Red Sox.”
Though Major League Baseball is still in its offseason until April 2018, America’s biggest independent craft brewer says that Red Sox fans will start seeing the new partnership taking effect as soon as next month. Details of the deal included two new Sam Adams “experiential” bar areas in Fenway, with the right-field roof deck now being christened “Sam Deck” and the bar behind the third base stands to be named “Sammy’s On Third;” an expansion of the number of Sam Adams beer offerings that will be available at the ballpark; increased signage including “the iconic right field sign which last changed nine years ago;” and other partnership opportunities.
“I moved to Boston the year of the ‘Impossible Dream Season.’ Now visitors to this historic ballpark will enjoy the freshest Sam Adams beer, while watching an incredible team, playing under our sign over in right field. It’s my personal impossible dream come true,” said Jim Koch, who founded Samuel Adams back in 1984. “We got our start right here in Boston, and for the past three decades we’ve worked our butts off to stay independent and brew great beer. As the official beer of the Red Sox, we get to celebrate our New England roots with millions of other fans as soon as the season kicks off.”
Not only is this the largest professional team partnership for Samuel Adams, the brewer also points out that its “the first American craft brewer to enter into a partnership with a Major League Baseball franchise, for this length of time and at this level,” a move that the brand says is indicative of “an important cultural shift” for craft beer and independent craft brewers. It certainly speaks to all the gains craft beer has made in competing with the big three… you know, those three who have MLB stadium naming rights.