My favorite part of the booze industry’s rapid takeover of college sports marketing is the statement of the obvious — “It’s the inevitability of the profitability, which is extraordinary” — coupled with the traditional “don’t let alcohol near the innocent young” sanctimony, with the SEC naturally leading the way:
With the rise in beer marketing has come a level of inconsistency and, sometimes, hypocrisy as schools and conferences try to figure out how much to regulate it. Where there’s a restriction on beer sales or marketing at a college facility, there’s often a contradiction nearby.
The SEC has been adamant about not selling any alcoholic beverages at its athletic venues, but the conference does allow it in club seats and suites, at least one of which is sponsored by a spirits brand — Woodford Reserve Club at Kentucky’s Kroger Field. Other schools, such as LSU and Missouri, have experimented with selling beer within beer gardens just outside the stadium, which enables them to rake in the revenue while staying within the bounds of the conference rules.
That’s your SEC today, peeps: no beer sales in the stands, but bourbon-infused naming in the club seats. Still, those sweet, sweet liquor dollars really do seem inevitable, even in the Bible Belt. I’m looking forward to hearing the spin Greg Sankey puts out on the day the conference officially renounces its current rule. I wonder how long it will take Georgia to change its policy after that occurs.