Tequila Diplomacy: PGA Tour Marketing Partner Maestro Dobel ...

14 Jun 2024

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: John Rahm captain of Legion XIII hits off the fairway on the 13th ... [+] during LIV Adelaide at The Grange Golf Club on April 28, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

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Last week, Maestro Dobel tequila signed a multiyear partnership with Legion XIII, Jon Rahm's LIV Golf team.

On the face of it, a premium spirits brand allocating marketing spend towards LIV’s first expansion team, currently in second place in the league’s standings right behind Crushers GC, is par for the course.

What makes the deal notable is that the Proximo Spirits-owned brand has been an official marketing partner of the PGA Tour since 2021. At last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, the official tequila of the PGA Tour first brought aboard Rahm, a deal that came on the heels of a similar ambassadorship with Carlos Ortiz that has since expired.

“When we look at partners, we look for people who are authentically inspired and love our brand and it turned out that Jon Rahm had been already exposed to our brand multiple times and he was a consumer and a very passionate drinker of Dobel. So that was an incredible find for us to find a master of a sport who is already a Maestro Dobel drinker,” Lander Otegui, chief marketing officer at Proximo Spirits, said.

Now, it didn’t hurt that Rahm is one of the biggest names in the game and the two-time major winner being a Spanish speaker certainly was also a big plus for the Mexican tequila brand. Considering the congruence between spokesperson and brand, it was pretty easy decision to make to sign Rahm.

“Rahm is a real tequila fan, actively and organically promoting the brand. Everywhere he goes he’s always asking for Dobel. At the golf course where he lives, he’s been the one pushing to get the brand in all the bars,” Otegui explains, adding that they just made a special edition tequila for Silverleaf Golf Club, where Rahm resides.

The original deal with Rahm was still ongoing. The decision to broaden it to include Legion XIII was just a way to closer align with the current chapter in Rahm’s career underway on the LIV circuit. Real estate on Rahmbo’s apparel is not part of the deal but his caddie Adam Hayes now sports the Maestro Dobel Tequila logo on his right shirt sleeve.

Jon Rahm with his caddie Adam Hayes

Maestro Dobel

Not all four members of Legion XIII are of legal drinking age. Caleb Surratt, 20, the exception, will have to wait till next year before he can toast with his teammates or take part in Dobel activations. The Tennessee alum’s birthday happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day, so maybe one of Proximo Spirits’ whiskeys would be a better fit.

Perhaps a year after the announcement of an initial PGA Tour-PIF framework agreement that could bring men’s professional golf back together again, a brand deal that bridges the gap like this one is a precursor to a finalized deal. According to Otegui, the PGA Tour didn’t have any issue with Maestro Dobel sponsoring a LIV team.

“The PGA team has been a really good partner throughout all this, keeping us an informed as we could be on every change and every move and the conversations have been good. Our contract is with Jon Rahm right now and the team, so we don’t have any direct partnership with LIV at all. Our commitment is still with the PGA Tour and we have been very happy with everything we’ve accomplished with them.”

Alan Shipnuck, author of LIV and Let Die: The Inside Story of the War Between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf tweeted the other day that according to his sources, a new draft agreement between PGA Tour Enterprises and the Saudi Public Investment Fund has been signed, the details of which will released as soon as Tuesday.

Otegui is of the mind that a deal that unites PGA Tour Enterprises and the PIF would be positive result not only for the sport but for marketing partners in both entities.

“I think it would be good for the sport as a whole because there has a been a lot of questions and doubts about what was going to happen so clarity from a sponsor’s perspective is going to be great. From what we’ve heard at least, most things will remain the same in the short term and there will be more material changes in the longterm.”

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