In its first move into sports sponsorship, Maison Sichel is to supply the South Korean World Cup events with red wine.
Football stadia, official receptions, restaurants and hotels will all be supplied with the Bordeaux-based négociant’s specially-blended AOC Médoc for the duration of the festivities.
Charles Sichel, who handles the company’s Asian markets, expects the deal to raise his company’s profile in South Korea, a country that has seen a rise in alcohol consumption of 20 per cent in the past four years.
‘The spectacular rise is undoubtedly due to the leap in spirits consumption,’ admits Sichel, ‘ but there is no doubt that this market has huge potential growth in the sales of wine and, naturally, our aim is to be part of this.’
As part of the strategy, Sichel’s wine has been blended to produce an accessible, uncomplicated, fruit-driven drink designed to appeal to South Korean wine novices.
In the short term, an estimated 200,000 football fans and visiting VIPs will benefit from Sichel’s sponsorship, but in the long run, it’s the company that will benefit. Sichel expects a 35 per cent increase in its annual South Korean sales as a result of the exposure it will gain over the course of the World Cup.
Commenting on the fact the label carries no World Cup logo nor any indication it is designed for the tournament, Sichel told decanter.com, ‘It was selected by officials for the South Korean parts of the World Cup and not Japan, so it didn’t qualify for the official logo. It’s a shame, but I’m not disappointed because it’s great to have the wine over there in the first place.’
Written by Natasha Hughes