JLG was appointed by the Constellation Brands Beer Division in May 2014, to bring its creative approach to develop innovative products and retail initiatives that deliver on the promise of the Corona brand and enhance the brand experience. Constellation is the exclusive U.S. brewer, marketer and supplier of the growing portfolio of high-end, imported beer brands that include Corona Extra and Corona Light as well as Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, Pacifico and Victoria beer brands.

“We are very pleased to partner with the Joester Loria Group to bring our renowned brands to U.S. consumers in a new and engaging way,” says Jenny Calcara, director of licensing and promotions for Constellation Beers. “The agency’s creative approach and expertise is an ideal fit for our brands.”

A Fresh Approach

JLG is developing collections of signature lifestyle product designed to appeal to loyal beer enthusiasts and target new consumers with on-trend apparel and high-quality hard goods that go beyond the traditional t-shirts and novelties often associated with beverage licensing, Vice President of Licensing Polina Rey notes.

“The combination of fresh color stories, iconic graphics, and on-trend designs infused with the Corona aesthetic has created exciting new products that really celebrates the unique spirit and core essence of the Corona lifestyle. The new Corona licensing approach has taken product beyond the logo-driven gear that has typically defined beer licensing, with innovative collections of apparel and gear,” Joester adds.

JLG’s licensing approach is already proving successful. The agency has added more than 12 licensees in categories including fashion accessories, footwear, outdoor and beach gear, glassware, barware, home décor, giftware, appliances, electronics, and gifts. Several products in these categories were fast-tracked to market within six months, allowing retailers to begin stocking Corona merchandise in spring 2015, just in time for the warmer weather with which the brand is most associated.

“The sales of Corona beer and licensed product peaks in the spring and summer – as people emerge from winter eager for sun-filled days of carefree enjoyment,” Joester says. “Corona really owns summer, but our goal is to provide consumers with the apparel and gear that allows them to ‘Find their Beach’ and enjoy Corona celebrations with family and friends year-around,” she adds.

Although the warmer months are the peak selling period for Corona and its licensed products, the Corona beer and licensed products plays an important role in Hispanic holidays such as Hispanic Heritage month in September and Dia De Los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) in November, as well as Christmas. 

Apparel Offerings

Both new and well-established licensees are designing and distributing Corona licensed product.  One of the brand’s longstanding licensees is apparel and accessories category leader Bioworld, which recently extended its collection of Corona apparel, footwear and accessories to include loungewear and boxers. 

JLG worked closely with Bioworld, a twelve-year veteran licensee, in developing a broad assortment of new products, which hit retail shelves for spring 2015. 

“Bioworld developed an extensive collection of Corona apparel featuring graphic styles and silhouettes influenced by both Corona’s laid-back beach culture and current fashion trends,” Joester says. 

The Corona collections from Bioworld are sold at leading retailers including Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Pac Sun, Spencer’s, Meijer, Fred Meyer, Shopko and Stage. Both Walmart and Target are offering selections of board shorts, tank tops, lounge pants, boxers, while Walmart’s assortment extends to hats and footwear. A men’s apparel program at PacSun includes woven and knit shirts, hats and shorts. The board shorts are already top-selling items in their category at Target and Walmart, and the tank tops and flip-flops are top sellers at Walmart. The collection at Walmart will be complemented in June by a collection of warm- and cold-weather headwear, bags and soft-sided coolers from a new licensee, Concept One.

“The men’s space is crowded with branded options, but consumers are choosing to buy the Corona product over other brands and entertainment properties in the department,” Rey says. 

In addition to its Corona-branded merchandise, Bioworld is also expanding its Modelo Especial collection. “Modelo has become the beer brand to watch. It is the #2 imported beer in the US, thanks to a growing and loyal consumer base that includes Millenials and Hispanics. The brand’s substance with style, quality, and authenticity has inspired the Modelo apparel program. The fashion has urban appeal and celebrates Modelo’s heritage,” Joester says.

T-shirts, tank tops and board shorts are not the only apparel items in JLG’s Corona licensing portfolio. Other licensees include swimwear maker In Gear Fashions, which this spring launched a line of ladies’ swimwear including bikinis, monokinis, cover-ups, swim shorts and rash guards priced from $29.99 to $39.99. 

The line’s product design and graphics invite wearers to “set aside their worries, be present in the moment and enjoy life by incorporating brand icons and rich beach visuals that consumers associate with summer and Corona,” says Trish Mack, a brand manager with JLG. The swimwear line can now be found in retailers including Spencer’s as well as at resort specialty shops, and will be expanded to mass, mid-tier and additional specialty stores in 2016.

Fencepost Productions, a leading men’s apparel company, introduced its line of Corona co-branded with resort brands Joe Marlin, Out of Bounds, Newport Blue and No Bad Days. Each co-brand collection is customized, which provides retailers unique offerings for their individual customer bases, Mack notes. 

The Fencepost collection includes knit and woven tops and swimwear. The items retail between $15 and $50 and are available at retailers including Kohl’s, SteinMart, Bob’s and Stage.

Taking the Beach Home

JLG’s Corona licensing efforts extend the beach-oriented leisure experience of the Corona brand beyond simply apparel and swimwear. 

Beach gear manufacturer JGR Copa was tapped to develop a collection of beach accessories including chairs, umbrellas, towels, beach blankets, beach mats and cabanas. Special features of the collection include waterproof applications, built-in cup holders and head rests, and UV-protective fabrics. 

The collection launched in spring 2015 in Walmart and resort specialty shops, and will be extended next year to other retail channels including club stores. 

Several home goods lines will give consumers the opportunity to take the Corona experience from the beach and into their homes. 

Koolatron, a leading manufacturer of thermoelectric and refrigeration products, introduced new products including a mini-fridge that bears the distinctive shape and graphics of Corona’s new can, launched earlier this year. 

The line also includes refrigerators and coolers, which feature the accessory every Corona drinker needs: a built-in lime slicer.

The can-shaped fridge will launch at select Target stores in June. A stainless steel thermoelectric cooler launched at Sam’s Club locations in May. 

Koolatron is developing other appliances including ice makers, popcorn makers, quesadilla presses and guacamole and salsa blenders ranging in price from $30 to $50. 

Licensee Modern Gourmet Foods introduced a collection of gift sets to the market in Spring 2015. Sets include glassware, drink accessories and bottle openers bundled with rimming salts.

The first of the gift sets launched at select Sam’s Club stores in April with a pallet program that included a $9.99 gift set consisting of a Corona wall-mounted bottle opener and Modern Gourmet rimming salts. Corona gift sets will expand into all channels of retail distribution in the fall.

Rounding out the gift sets and appliance assortment designed for Corona enthusiasts is a new collection of home furniture and rec room décor items from licensee Trademark Global. The company’s Corona offerings includes pub tables, bar stools, lighting and wall décor, as well as recreational gaming products such as dartboard sets, billiard accessories and cornhole and flying disc target sets. 

Trademark’s products will be available this summer on e-commerce sites including Walmart, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Macy’s, with prices ranging from $79.99 to $399.

Retail Integration

JLG is helping Koolatron, Modern Gourmet Foods and other licensees integrate their programs with Corona’s marketing and retail initiatives. This includes launching the iconic stainless steel cooler featured in Corona Extra and Corona Light television advertising at retailers where the beer is sold. Koolatron’s Corona can fridge was also supported by promotional efforts for Constellation’s beer distributors.

Modern Gourmet Foods’ gift sets have been featured in demos at Sam’s Club and other stores, where they are placed close to beer tasting kiosks. 

“Joint programs at shared accounts with the beer brands are already proving successful,” Mack says. 

For Cinco de Mayo – or Corona de Mayo – a pallet program of glassware, coolers, cozies and other beer accessories was placed in Total Wine stores to coincide with a coupon program, she adds.

Future marketing plans include a Dia de los Muertos campaign in November for both Corona Extra and Modelo Especial. This promotion will include artist commissioned sugar skulls & unique artwork from the brand campaign for licensee inclusion in their trend collections. “Dia de los Muertos is a very exciting initiative; Corona and Modelo’s heritage provides an organic connection to the holiday, while the artwork and visuals have become a year-round trend,” Mack says.