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Open golf sponsorship has helped Glenmorangie drive the brand in key international markets

Published:  22 May, 2014

Glenmorangie is capitalising on its sponsorship of The Golf Open Championship to build the brand in the US and Asia and other key international markets.

Dr Bill Lumsden, head of distilling and whisky creation at Glenmorangie, told that it has been able to build on the huge popularity of golf in the US and Asia, in particular, over the first two years of its sponsorship, to draw in key potential consumers to the brand.

"The golf partnership is our first major sports sponsorship and it has done really well for us in market like the US.

"Golf is a very natural bedfellow to Glenmorangie. If you ask people around the world what Scotland is famous for and they will usually say its whisky and its golf," said Dr Lumsden.  

Tony JacklinTony Jacklin

He said he had recently returned from promotional tours around the US and Asia with Glenmorangie's golf ambassadors, former Open winners, Tony Jacklin and Nick Faldo.

These have involved special whisky tastings and golf promotional nights at leading golf venues around the US.

"Not only are they great ambassadors for us and the brand, but they provide invaluable advice on the do's and don'ts of golf sponsorship," he added.

Glenmorangie has also been able to call on the services of US golf legend, Arnold Palmer, at some of its US tastings and events.

Glenmorangie, which is part of the Moët Hennessy stable, is building up its activity towards the 2014 Open Championship, which takes place at the prestigious Royal Liverpool course in Hoylake on the Wirral between July 13-20.

A view from behind the green on the 198 yards par 3, 11th hole 'Alps' which will play as the 13th hole in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club the host venue for the 2014 Open Championship on October 24, 2013 in Hoylake, Wirral, England.

It has released some limited promotional packs and is running a consumer promotion asking golf fans to name the world's most "Unnecessarily Well Made Golf Holes" to reflect the 'unnecessarily well made' promotional line used by Glenmorangie.

It will then use consumer votes to draw up a dream course made up of 18 of these most Unnecessarily Well Made golf holes in the world. The competition will see one contributor win an overall prize to not only go to next year's Open Championship at St Andrews but play the course the day after the Championship has visited.  They will also get the chance to play the Ailsa Course at Turnberry  and the Royal Dornoch course. As well as stay at Glenmorangie House and enjoy a private tour of the Glenmorangie Distillery. Monthly prizes include the chance to win vouchers to play at leading golf clubs.

Dr Lumsden admitted even spending so much time with such luminaries in the world of golf as Jackson and Faldo had done nothing for his own game. Whilst he was happy to share a dram or two with them Lumsden had yet to take up the offer of sharing a golf course with them.

Ardbeg Day

The Open Championship is not the only major sports event this summer that Moët Hennessy has affiliated itself to. Its limited edition "Auriverdes" Ardbeg Islay whisky is a tribute to this summer's Brazil World Cup and is being released to coincide with Ardbeg Day on May 31.The name Auriverdes is derived from the golden colour of the whisky, 'auri' and the green iconic bottle, 'verdes'. The name is also the nickname of the national football team of Brazil, hosts of the World Cup.

Dr Lumsden, who is also director of distillation and whisky creation for Ardbeg Distilleries, said: "When creating Auriverdes I had a distinct flavour profile in mind that I wanted to achieve, so I specifically created the heart of the recipe to bring that to life. It is an expression of Ardbeg which has exceeded all my expectations." 

Dr Lumsden told that he is currently working on up to 30 different projects for Glenmorangie and a further 15 on Ardbeg which are at all at different stages of development. He admitted "not all would see the light of day" but each would play a vital part in the limited edition and special whiskies he hopes to make in the coming years.

Of particular interest to him is better understanding the importance and role that yeast plays in the whisky making process and it is an area that we can expect to see some "exciting developments" from him in due course.

"It is an area that has been neglected by our industry and yeast has become treated as a commodity."