Los Angeles Galaxy Partner With El Silencio, Taking Its Shot On The First-Ever Mezcal Sponsorship In Pro Team Sports
Alcohol and live sporting events are almost synonymous with one another. Attend a football game, and you are bound to find a beer stand in every corner of the stadium. Catch a baseball game, and take advantage of liquor — tequila, vodka, whiskey, you name it — in one of the VIP spaces at the park.
What has been entirely absent; however, is mezcal. Commonly known as tequila’s little cousin, mezcal is still relatively foreign across the United States, but has begun to make inroads. And now, on February 20, Mezcal El Silencio is announcing its exclusive multi-year partnership with Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, becoming the first-ever mezcal brand to enter into such an agreement with a professional sports team.
“The idea of partnering with a professional sports franchise has always been irresistible to us. But this opportunity was less about timing and more about having found like-minded partners in LA Galaxy and AEG,” Silencio CEO Fausto Zapata told The Sports Biz. “At Silencio, we are storytellers as much as we are Mezcal producers, so everything we do attempts to disrupt the way consumers experience craft spirits and brands. To us, creating partnerships requires partners who see things similarly, who are willing to push boundaries with us and who are equally excited about elevating the customer experience. When conversations started with LA Galaxy, there wasn’t just affinity around all these principles, there was pure electricity in the air. We just took this electricity and converted it into a reality.”
The partnership, which includes an agreement with the Galaxy’s Dignity Sports Health Park, was brokered by AEG and will also feature relationships with four venues operated by AEG Presents in Los Angeles.
Zapata is focused on the “immersive experience” that Silencio will be bringing to Galaxy matches. He spoke of the “head-turning” visuals that his Los Angeles-based brand will be showcasing on the scoreboard, the ribbon board and through other touchpoints. The Mexico City native who previously spent time in New York’s financial district said Silencio will be “reinventing the concession stand concept by introducing the Mezcaleria El Silencio, a custom bar built and designed by our very own inhouse creative team, with cutting edge technology, which will be pure eye candy and cocktail magic.” There will also be a hidden door that leads into a speakeasy, “providing a true rabbit hole experience.”
Made from up to 28 varieties of agave (whereas tequila can only be produced from one type of agave plant), mezcal is just scratching the surface of its potential. The spirit saw an increase in sales in the United States from $17.2 million in 2016 to $24.3 million in 2017, according to El Financiero, a highly regarded Mexico City-based financial newspaper. And in the last two years, international spirit powerhouses Pernod Ricard, Bacardi, Proximo Spirits, William Grant & Sons and Diageo all invested in mezcal.
Expect to see growth within the sports industry too. Zapata revealed that Silencio is in discussions with other sports entities regarding similar partnerships. He added, however, that the priority isn’t about the quantity of deals but rather the opportunity to work with franchises that have a “shared affinity in creating new experiences for the fans by stepping outside of generic sponsorship boundaries.” Let’s see how the Galaxy’s first shot of mezcal tastes.