The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Craft Brewer Scoops Major Event Sponsorship

Good George CEO Race Louden toasting the partnership with World Masters Games 2017 athlete ambassador Nathan Twaddle.

Good George Brewing has been announced as the official beer of World Masters Games 2017 (WMG2017) being hosted in New Zealand, the first time a craft brewery has held this level of sponsorship for the massive event.

The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world.  In terms of athlete numbers, it is bigger in scale than even the Olympics.

Given Good George’s relative size to the brewing super powers that usually supply events of this scale the partnership is seen as a huge coup for the Hamilton based brewer.

Good George CEO Race Louden said taking on the big guys and punching above their weight has always been part of the Good George DNA. “We love to do things a little differently and deliver a surprise now and then.”

Louden believes the Good George brand and the World Masters Games are a great fit. “The games are all about having a go, enjoying the spirit of competition but having a bit of fun and celebrating afterwards.”

WMG2017 Chief Executive Jennah Wootten adds, “World Masters Games 2017 is bringing thousands of visitors to New Zealand to experience our world-famous country and culture. To showcase Aotearoa, we’ve been keen to partner with local brands and companies that do things in a uniquely Kiwi way.

“We love the fact that Good George have had the idea of producing a World Masters Games 2017 commemorative can and hope all those who visit the Entertainment Hub will take time to visit them and taste some world class beer from down under.”

WMG2017 will see a whopping 25,000 athletes from 100 different countries compete and the Local Organising Committee’s decision to partner with a local craft brewer is a vote of confidence in the brewer’s range and quality. It’s also a response to the rapid rise of the popularity of craft beer both in NZ and internationally.

Production at the brewery has gone into overdrive in the lead up to the event and the athletes will be invited to take their own of tour the brewery and enjoy some Waikato hospitality.

Good George now has a well-established reputation for marketing cheekiness and innovation in packaging including their 946ml Squealer bottle range which has been experiencing huge growth in off premise markets across New Zealand.

Louden believes the brewer’s event team and experience in running big festivals was also a contributing factor in winning the WMG2017 official beer status. “We are strong believers in taking our brewery to the people and we’re really excited about being able to do that at the World Masters Games 2017 Entertainment Hub on Queen’s Wharf in April.”

Good George will be heavily involved outside of just supplying the product. “We’re not just going to sit on the sidelines and clap and hand over a few beers at the end,” Louden says. “We’re going to make some noise and make sure everyone hears about it.”

There are plans for commemorative cans for the event and a series of events at Good George bars around the country. “We reckon anyone can write a cheque to sponsor events but the real test is how well it is received and how we can support the event to be a success” says Louden.

Good George is also the official beer of the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek alongside other regional sports teams the Northern Knights Cricket team and local clubs and groups. “IPA is our biggest seller at Fieldays which illustrates the changing tastes of the New Zealand beer market” says Louden.

Away from this high-profile sponsorship, the future looks pretty bright. Louden says Good George has managed to tap into the growing demand for craft beer in New Zealand and in its 4 years has become one of the biggest and fastest growing craft brands on the shelves.

Louden says “We love the fact we are from Hamilton and have helped pioneer and grow the beer scene there and it’s really rewarding to see how well the rest of the country is embracing our product”.

Good George focuses on a core range of sessionable beers and ciders accompanied with special releases in Squealer bottles and cans.  They’re also active in the on-premise market with taps across the country in bars including some dedicated outlets. Their latest bar, Good Union, opened in Cambridge in December in time to play host to the cycling and rowing Masters Games events which will be held in the town.