- Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Natural Light has struck a partnership with Sperry to upcycle old boat shoes into novelty beer holders, according to a press release. Dubbed the “Brewzie,” the product is intended to keep beer cold and upright during boating season.
- Consumers for a limited time can comment on Natural Light’s Instagram for the chance to be one of 165 people chosen to ship off their boat shoes to be reconfigured into the boat-friendly drinking accessory. Winners will also be offered a 30% discount from Sperry for a pair of shoes.
- The effort sees both Natural Light and Sperry bringing an additional layer of purpose to traditional novelty marketing ploys and arrives following a brand refresh from Natural Light earlier this year that introduced new packaging and an “Act Natural” tagline.
Natural Light and Sperry are offering consumers an eco-friendly fix to prevent their beer from tipping over while being enjoyed at sea. The Brewzie notably uses Sperry’s signature traction technology — with the base seemingly made from the bottom of a shoe — to up the odds of keeping a beer upright, as opposed to typical neoprene beer holders. The effort could resonate with sustainably driven consumers, while offering fans of Sperry’s a memento that commemorates a well-loved pair of shoes.
“Sperry boat shoes are an iconic piece of life on the water, while Natural Light is the go-to beer up and down the coastlines,” said Krystyn Stowe, head of marketing for the Natural Family of brands, in a press statement. “They call us ‘Shore Champagne’ for a reason, after all. This was our chance to bring our brands together to create something special, memorable and functional to celebrate life by the water.”
To enter the contest, consumers from July 18 to Aug. 7 must comment on Natural Light and Sperry’s collaborative Instagram post while using the hashtags #NattyBrewzie and #Sweepstakes. Winners will receive a message from brand character Captain Natty with a unique-to-them shipping label that they can use to send off their shoes. The pair of shoes will be returned as a single Brewzie, and only Sperry’s Authentic Original and Leeward boat shoes are eligible for the contest.
Dropping novelty products is a common tactic in the beverage space, and has recently been utilized by other alcohol brands including Coors Light, Miller Lite and Southern Comfort. Natural Light and Sperry rooting their play in recycling could boost consumer sentiment at a time when sustainability is front of mind. The move could help Sperry stand out as the fashion industry has been more sharply criticized for its environmental impact, pushing more companies to invest in areas like upcycling.
For Natural Light, the effort arrives following a brand refresh earlier this year that ushered in the “Act Natural” tagline along with a nationwide introduction of a novelty-inspired can design. Parent company AB InBev reported 13.2% revenue growth in the first quarter of 2023 and increased both sales and marketing investments during the period, showing resilience during a season dogged by controversy surrounding sister brand Bud Light.