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Cachaça at risk of becoming the ‘football spirit’

As the FIFA World Cup approaches, cachaça brands are in danger limiting their long-term international prospects by becoming known as the “football spirit”, according to one Diageo director.

Cachaca Brazil World Cup
Ypioca cachaça has sought “alternative” marketing opportunities in the run-up to the World Cup to avoid being known as the “football spirit”

For Daan Dekroon, export director for Diageo’s Yipoca cachaça, while many cachaca brands are seeking to maximise their exposure during the 2014 football tournament, which is set to kick off in Brazil’s São Paulo on Thursday, this could actually endanger their future in the international market.

“We thought it might be an opportunity to become an official FIFA sponsor, but we realised we didn’t want to be the standard football cachaça brand,” Dekroon told The Spirits Business.

“For Ypioca, there’s definitely a danger in becoming an official sponsor and being tied to Brazilian football alone, because we want to be an authentic representation of Brazilian life.”

Cachaça, thought of a Brazil’s “national spirit”, has long been attempting to expand its presence in the international market, where just 1% of its volumes are consumed.

Some brands such as Pitú, Leblon and Cachaça 51 have therefore undertaken various marketing intiatives to increase brand visibility in the run-up to, during and after the World Cup

However, Dekroon says that there are “alternative opportunities” for Ypioca which will extend its appeal beyond the event.

“We want to be creative and not as though we are a FIFA sponsor, because we are not,” he said. “We will take a different approach to these other companies, using the cameras already pointing at Brazil this summer to communicate our brand message, but steer away from being known as the World Cup cachaça,”

“We have a vision to do something bigger with Ypioca. Our main point of focus is around the main values of the brand and about not being seen as the football cachaca – we do not want to put all of our eggs into the football basket.”

For more on cachaca and the World Cup, see the June issue of The Spirits Business magazine.

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