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Alpenwater’s general manager explains why they sponsor AC Milan

By Yutang Sports Friday, 27 Oct 2017 19:46

These days, bottled water brands in China are very busy.

Prior to the sponsorship deal signed by Ganten and the Australian Open, Alpenwater, a bottled water brand that launched in 2012, had reached a long-term strategic partnership with top-flight professional football club AC Milan, becoming the club’s official water partner.

According to comments from Lorenzo Giorgetti, AC Milan’s chief commercial officer, it is a win-win deal for the two sides – AC Milan can connect with such a fast-growing company in the mineral drinking water sector operating in China while giving the brand the opportunity to enter the European and global market. 

In fact, there is an “Italian element” embedded in the Alpenwater’s brand. The brand belongs to ALPS Beverage Co., Ltd., which is authorized by ALPS (Italy) Co., Ltd. to produce and market ALPS beverages in China. The company oversees the marketing, import and export business and tax payment of the brand ALPS in China, and is responsible for the sales and brand promotion activities of ALPS products in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao.

ALPS Beverage’s general manager Zhao Lei explained the reasons why they decided to sponsor the Italian club in an interview with Yutang Sports. 

According to Zhao, AC Milan’s successful history and its “classic characteristics” are in accordance with Alpenwater’s commitment to excellence, which was the most important purpose for them to strike this deal. Of course, Alpenwater also takes the club’s loyal fans into account. 

Under the terms of their deal, the pair will work closely to launch co-branded marketing campaigns in China and Italy. Alpenwater will be endowed with sponsorship rights like brand association, on-the-pitch brand exposure, and digital logo displays. Zhao also promised that Alpenwater will support the localization of the club for the Chinese market and strengthen the connection between the club and its fans in China. 

By signing this deal, Alpenwater has captured a top resource in football area for their marketing strategy. However, it is not the only resource the brand has put into their portfolio.

Last year, Alpenwater sponsored the World Snooker International Championship which took place in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, becoming the event’s official drinking water. This deal allowed Alpenwater’s brand and products to be featured in the broadcast of the event on CCTV5 and LeSports. The deal has also been extended in this upcoming new edition of the event, which will start on October 29 and last for 8 days. 

Golf is also a target area for the brand. In 2015, Alpenwater was listed in the partner roster of the China Golf Association (CGA). With the partnership strengthening in 2016, Alpenwater’s bottle water brand gradually gained a presence in the golf events hosted by the CGA, eventually becoming the drinking water for the Chinese national golf team in their daily training. This year, Alpenwater has officially signed with the Chinese national golf team, allowing the brand to continue to secure the drinking water for the team both in daily training and in golf events. 

In fact, the brand has even connected with popular sports like football and basketball. In 2016, the brand kicked off the partnership with Dalian Transcendence FC which was competing in the second-tier football league, China League. After two months, the second-tier basketball league, the men's National Basketball League, also called up the brand to be an official partner. 

In Zhao’s opinion, Alpenwater sees sports marketing as a powerful tool because of the inherent connection between sports and drinking water. In the future, the brand will make the sport of football as a key part of their sports marketing strategy, which can be partly inferred from their deal with AC Milan.

Meanwhile, Alpenwater will seek more opportunities to partner with more influential sports events in order to enhance their brand awareness. Additionally, the brand will also partner with some regional sports events in China, which can help them pave the way to success for their regional distributors.

Indeed, to capture a top resource like AC Milan is a good start for Alpenwater. However, how the brand decides to activate this sponsorship to gain more exposure and boost their sales, as well as forming an emotional connection with the consumers, are still the questions that remain for Alpenwater to solve. 

Proofread by William Logsdon 

Tags: AC Milan


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