Monday, January 20, 2014

The celebrity-woman-athlete novelty wine (where is it?)

There is Caberlee and Coopernet, and Ernie Banks' 512 Chardonnay. Mike Ditka has a pinot grigio and a merlot, and Dick Butkus' picture is on the label of his Legends 51 cabernet sauvignon. Proceeds from sales of this last help benefit his foundation combating steroid use among teen athletes.

Other sports-themed wines, mostly from Event Wines, serve a similar purpose: they are a fun buy for the fans, they bring crowds to (and drive sales for) retail stores when the celebrity on the label arrives in person for a few hours to chat and sign autographs, and of course they help raise money for many good causes. What I find odd is that all these celebrity-athlete-themed wines feature men on the label, and are directed to men, or to women buying gifts for men -- I dare say, sometimes buying gag gifts for men. It's not a question of my wanting to see "equality" in novelty wines or anything like that. It's just that most wine buyers are women buying for themselves, and I should think that if Event Wines can do a roaring business with this line of product, they could do an even more roaring business with novelty wines marketed to women. And when I say marketed to women, I mean, talk to us about something besides breast cancer.

Think of the women athletes who could grace the label of a charity wine. Figure skaters. Gymnasts. Downhill skiers (remember Picabo Street?). The Olympic women's soccer teams and hockey teams who did so well in past years -- the details are not at my fingertips, but any market researcher able to put together wrestler Don "the Magnificent" Muraco's Flying Head Butt merlot, benefiting Usos The Samoan Family Foundation, could certainly think up a wine for Kristi Yamaguchi or Nadia Comaneci to sponsor. Then there are the sports of fencing, archery, or anything equestrian to consider. They are little known, but the image of a woman with a rapier, a bow, or a horse on a wine label is bound to appeal to any woman buyer.

Could it be that Kristi Yamaguchi's or, say, Peggy Fleming's fees would be far outside what Event Wines could afford? Could it be that these women and all others like them would have no interest in either wine or charitable giving, whereas Curt Schilling ("Schardonnay") and Mike Ditka really do have?

Image from

Or is it all just a matter of taste?

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