On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe discuss the insanity of the MLB’s new “official vodka.” From the, at best, questionable background of the company to whether or not the product even exists, the trio discuss how this bizarre brand came to reach official sponsor status. Tune in for more.
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Adam Teeter: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters. I’m Adam Teeter.
Joanna Sciarrino: And I’m Joanna Sciarrino.
Zach Geballe: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.
A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” Are you in a heat wave? Because we are.
Z: It’s warm, but no. We are having a very gentle year so far. It’s really delightful. It’s like 82 degrees today.
A: Wow. You’re making me consider Seattle as a destination.
Z: Oh, man.
J: I think Seattle’s great.
Z: I feel like this podcast might collapse in on itself if you move to Seattle, Adam.
A: It almost did when Joanna just said what she said. She needs to get out. The door’s right here, it opens by sliding left to right. You slide it to the left, head on out. It’s been great having you as a co-host for the last year, or year and a half, but now, you gots to go.
J: He’ll find someone else.
A: I always do.
Z: OK. I am appreciating this banter, as I always do, but we have possibly the topic I’m most excited about to cover we’ve ever covered on this podcast.
J: I know. Zach’s like, “Let’s get into it.”
A: He’s so excited.
Z: Let’s talk about what we drank, let’s get to business. I am stoked.
A: Let’s go. OK, well, let’s start off. Well, you know who’s even more stoked than you, I think, about this topic is Josh, VinePair co-founder, who is the sleuth that came upon this story and started doing some digging. But we’ll get into it in a second. But yeah, so Zach, what have you been drinking first? Let’s let you get it out of the way so we can just start rolling.
Z: I’m going to move quickly. So actually it was really nice, Caitlin and the kids and I went out to dinner earlier this week. We went out with a friend of ours who’s a beverage director for a restaurant company here in Seattle, went to one of their new places, and she pulled out a bottle that I didn’t even know existed, which was a bottle of Falanghina from Ridge. The fruit comes from Mendocino, apparently they make very little of it, and because she has all the connects, was able to get a case of it. And she’s like, “Yeah, we got a case of it. We’ve sold 11 of the bottles already.” She’s just like, “I saved one for us.” And I was like, “Dope.” It’s cool, it’s really interesting. It’s like 81 percent Falanghina and 19 percent Roussanne, which is an unusual blend, but cool. And it was just a lot of fun and a good reminder that there are so many interesting things happening in American viticulture. I mean, obviously it’s not something that listeners to the podcast are going to be surprised at me saying, but it’s very fun to see people trying out both some of these lesser-known varieties like Falanghina and to some extent Roussanne, frankly, but also putting them together in ways that I don’t think you would ever see that blend anywhere else, certainly anywhere in Europe. I’m pretty sure that no one is growing both of those varieties in the same region. So it is just kind of a nice, cool, interesting reminder of how the freedom and flexibility in places like the U.S. to make wine in whatever way people want can definitely have some cool and enjoyable fruit, I guess, to make a sort of pun. How about you, Joanna?
J: Yeah, we had some friends over this past weekend for fajitas on Saturday night, so I decided to make pitcher Margaritas.
A: What was your recipe?
J: For the fajitas?
A: No, for the Margaritas.
J: Oh yeah, sorry.
Z: Did you forget that VinePair is a drinks publication?
J: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
A: But if you would like to share with us your fajita recipe as well, I’m all ears.
J: Yeah, yeah. No. I didn’t go Tommy’s, I went 3 cups of blanco, 1 and a half cups of Cointreau, and 1 and a half cups of lime juice. They were really strong. I don’t make large-batch drinks often and I definitely didn’t dilute it enough because everyone got pretty tanked, but that was my fault.
A: That was my fault, so I take the blame.
J: Yeah. I’ll figure it out for next time. We also had some Mexican-style lager from Threes called Echo of Nothing, and that was pretty good too. It’s made with flaked corn and had vaguely corny notes, which was good. And we also had some Modelo, but I don’t often go for a Mexican-style lager that isn’t like Corona.
Z: An actual Mexican lager?
J: Yeah, exactly. Exactly, yeah.
A: Yeah, it was corny.
J: It was corny, a little bit.
J: Vaguely corny, yeah. No, it was good. What about you, Adam?
A: So I haven’t had a lot to drink recently. The most memorable thing I drank was actually based on the food, which was last Friday night. I went to Rao’s with you, Joanna, and Josh and Mark on our team because Josh has the old- school New York connect. And so we went to Rao’s for dinner, and their wine list is not really a wine list, it’s more like “You want Chianti, you want Barbaresco? What Barbaresco?” I don’t know. But so we got the Chianti and it was the Pèppoli, the Antinori Pèppoli, old school. They’ve always had it apparently there. We had a nice bottle of that. And then I had a Gin Martini to start the night that was literally straight gin. I shared a car home with Joanna, and I’m sure she was like, “Wow, Adam’s drunk,” because I was just talking. I mean, the Martini was just, the glass was… It was straight gin.
J: I know. You’re pretty chatty already.
A: Yeah, but then I think I was really chatty the whole way home. I got out of the car and I went inside to see Naomi, and I was like, “I think I talked to Joanna the whole ride home and didn’t let her talk at all.” And Naomi was like, “Yeah, because you’re definitely intoxicated.” I was like, “It’s definitely the Gin Martini with no vermouth.”
Z: So Caitlin and I have a term for this, which we like. I don’t know if it will translate to the larger audience, but we call that level of intoxication being adrunkable.
Z: Because you’re pleasant and it’s kind of charming, but it’s also like, “Oh, that person is drunk,” but they’re just kind of… I’m imagining, you’re just kind of rambling, probably pretty happy, you’re not breaking sh*t or crying. You’re adrunkable.
J: No crying.
A: No, and of course we didn’t specify the lemon twist, it just came with the lemon twist. But did you see what the twist was? It wasn’t even the twist. What they do at Rao’s, it’s so old school, is they take not a wedge of lemon, but like a half moon of lemon, and they just cut out the fruit part, the flesh, so it still has the pit, and they just throw it in the glass.
J: Like what you would get for an espresso.
A: Yeah, like what you would get for an espresso. I had the old-school espresso too.
J: Yes, you did.
A: That was intense. That was really intense.
J: It didn’t help.
A: No, it did not help at all. I was like, “I thought it would.”
Z: That might be causing the chattiness more than the Martini, honestly.
A: Yeah, because it was so much espresso straight to the face.
A: But so, yeah, so that was what I drank this week. But now let’s get into this. So Zach, you’re very excited. So I’m going to let you get into it, but I’ll start.
A: So we published a story on the VinePair site, for those of you who keep track of the days we publish, on Thursday, this past Thursday, about the announcement on behalf of Major League Baseball that they had a new official vodka. Now the official vodka is from a company that did not exist, basically, it seems like, until this official vodka was announced.
A: Our crackpot journalism team here at VinePair did a lot of investigating.
Z: No, no, crack, not crackpot. That would be different.
J: I say ace.
A: Our ace, our ace team, yeah. Crackpot, what am I thinking? Our ace team. So there were a lot of people involved, Josh Malin, my co-founder, was really involved in reporting the story, Tim McKirdy, Nicolette Baker was also really involved. So they really started doing a lot of digging into what this was. At first, when we got the original press release, we honestly thought it was a joke.
A: We were like, how is Major League Baseball doing this official vodka with a brand that’s never existed? How is this not Smirnoff or whatever? But then, lo and behold, we went to the Major League Baseball website and there was the press release announcing this official partnership. So upon much, much digging, it turns out that the person who owns this company has had a slew of other very questionable companies in his past, some Web3 stuff, some investment stuff, a weird tailgating company that was like this thing that goes on the back of your trailer, like a cooler or whatever that he had invented.
J: And a grill.
A: Yeah, lots of patents. Some that exist, some that don’t exist. Lots of claims on the website about the vodka, but then no record of the vodka in any official government sources, right? So nothing with the alcohol-
J: No TTP ID.
A: Yeah, no TTP ID.
A: Nothing, right? A little bit of stuff in Canada, but then also all of the addresses for the company here in the U.S. are attached to mailboxes that are owned by the mailbox companies, like Mail Boxes Etc. basically owns these mailboxes. So it’s questionable if it’s even an American company. It’s all very odd, and so the question becomes like, why would Major League Baseball do this? Why are they working with this weird company? And couldn’t they get someone else? Because aren’t sports just the No. 1 thing these days to have associated with alcohol, right? Basically you can tie the success of High Noon at Gallo all the way back to High Noon’s partnership initially with, not their vodka, but Gallo’s vodka, New Amsterdam, with the NHL. Right, the NHL basically built New Amsterdam, then you have the connection to BarStool Sports, then you have the creation of Pink Whitney. It further creates this huge rabid audience connected to sports. And then you obviously have High Noon, right? There’s lots of stuff like this. It’s why Diageo’s willing to pay the premium they’re willing to pay to be the official sponsor of the NFL. Gallo’s the official wine sponsor of the NFL. You have obviously Budweiser. Molson Coors is going to advertise to the NFL for the first time in 30 years, right? So people really want to circle around sports. So what the f*ck is Major League Baseball doing?
J: Well, it’s also just weird because the MLB has other official drink sponsors, including Budweiser, Evan Williams, Corona, and Woodbridge. So where does… What is it? Distill Brands? Distill Brands come from? Nobody’s ever heard of it.
A: It’s very odd.
J: Why this choice? Does it exist?
A: Do you think someone owed someone a debt?
J: That’s what I think. I think this is extortion.
A: It’s got to be; it’s very odd. So Zach, you’re very excited about this. So what are your thoughts here?
Z: Well, so there’s a few things here. So one, as someone who loves baseball but maybe has some serious doubts about the people nominally in charge of the sport, it does fit into a preexisting narrative that I like, which is that the people running Major League Baseball don’t know what the f*ck they’re doing.
Z: I think I want to reiterate this point that was just made by Joanna, which is like, if you look at the list of other alcohol sponsors, setting aside all the other companies that partner with Major League Baseball, we’re talking about some of the largest brands or brands operated by some of the largest conglomerates in the beverage alcohol space. And then we’re looking at a company that has maybe one employee, and it’s like, what amount of money was paid to Major League Baseball, because, and I think we’ll get into this in a little bit, one of the big questions here is like, why is baseball giving away this probably very valuable moniker, right? The official vodka of Major League Baseball for… You can’t imagine they’re settling for a piddling sum of money that you think a one-man operation could drum up. So there has to be an amount of money behind this that is in no way commensurate with the size of this enterprise. And so there’s a lot of questions here, and now that we’ve reported on it, I’m sure there will be further digging because obviously Major League Baseball is a very prominent entity, and there are lots of people who are very interested in this story as we have seen on social media and stuff after dropping the piece. And I’m sure, including us, we’ll do more investigating into this. And I think as of the time we’re recording this, Major League Baseball hasn’t commented; presumably they will say something. But this is very reminiscent of a few things that we’ve seen. I know, Joanna, you’re a “Drive to Survive” fan. I think, what is it? Rich Energy is something that has been brought up on social media and stuff as a similar sponsor in racing from a company where the product might not actually really exist. It’s unclear. They’ve made huge claims about making, I think, 93 million cans, and yet no one can find it. If you look at some of the stuff that’s linked in the VinePair piece, there’s no imagery of the actual product. So there are a lot of questions, and I think we’ll get into this in a little bit about, kind of, on the Distilled Brands International or whatever side of it, what is in it for them. But for the Major League Baseball side, you have to imagine that someone showed up with a big-ass check and was like, “Hey, I want to be the official vodka sponsor,” and someone at Major League Baseball was like, “Cool, we don’t have one of those. You got whatever the dollar amount is?” Which is presumably pretty high, and they basically just paid their way into this kind of branding. And apparently no one at Major League Baseball did even the basic amount of due diligence you would think they would do.
J: Absolutely not.
Z: And that is the part that I love. I mean, I hate it in a sense, but I love it because it feeds into this narrative that I think is not untrue of a degree of incompetence there that’s just… It’s a kind of incompetence and a kind of very, very shallow and narrow-minded greed, that’s like, “Someone wants to give us money, cool, great. Give us money, we don’t care what you do.”
J: Yeah. Like the comment in the press release from MLB’s CRO was, “With their breadth of creativity and experience in the industry… And experience in the industry, DBI is a great addition to the MLB lineup of official sponsors.” So clearly they did zero research into this company that didn’t exist prior to this partnership because they have no experience in the industry.
A: I mean, is this just, Zach, that it comes down to the fact that every league that’s basically not the NFL and the NBA are run by morons? Because… I’m serious. When I’ve talked to people who’ve been involved on, especially the NFL deals, we’re lucky enough that we get to talk to really amazing leaders in this business, and so people both at Gallo and at Diageo have been very forthcoming with details about how long the negotiations took, how much back and forth there was, how much competition there was, how hard it was to make it happen. It just feels like Major League Baseball is like, “Well, no one else wants to be our vodka, so might as well take this.” It’s just so odd to me. And I, as you all know, think baseball is the dumbest f*cking sport out of all sports, right? It’s not my thing.
Z: So you must have loved this, too, for similar but different reasons?
A: Oh, I love it. I love it. It just proves it’s boring, it’s boring, it’s boring.
Z: Well, I guess you hate vodka.
A: And I think the people who are running the thing must be just like good old boys or something that are, like, chewing tobacky and spitting peanuts or something. I don’t really know what else is going on. But as someone who is the older brother of a person who loves baseball, my little brother’s a massive Braves fan, my brother would totally buy a Braves-branded vodka or a Major League Baseball-branded vodka. He definitely would, especially if it was in a bat. Come on.
J: That’s one of the products here.
A: Yes, because that would be a fun thing for him. So the fact that, yes, there’s this weird company. Also, we haven’t even gotten the part that they have also patented this vodka in hanging bags with spouts, like for tailgating. It’s insane. And one of their renderings is Barack Obama looking at them.
Z: I mean, you guys have to… If you have not looked at this picture that’s in the story, it’s not just that. It’s like Photoshop that a high school senior would be embarrassed by. It’s terrible.
J: It’s clear that it was just a stock image that they needed, and I don’t think they even realized that it’s Barack Obama. I really don’t.
A: It’s just so good. It’s just Barack Obama shopping at the liquor store.
J: With a guy.
A: It’s just so good. I wonder if that’s Biden actually, just from the back.
J: He has too much hair.
Z: I’m looking at it right now. Definitely does not look, Joe Biden’s too tall for that, for one.
A: Yeah, it’s so good.
J: Definitely check it out, it’s the most bizarre thing. And none of this is supposed to drop until 2023 and it’s only happening in three states apparently: New York, Florida, and California. So if you want to check out these products, yeah, well, we’ll see. I guess we’ll see.
Z: I’m pretty sure you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be able to buy any of this. Like, it doesn’t exist.
A: So you think it’s going to get quashed?
Z: Well, I don’t even think it’s ever… So the thing that’s been speculated about a little bit, and I think there’s something to this. So to step back for a second, you have seen things vaguely like this with professional sports franchises. The Philadelphia 76ers got entangled in a sort of mini scandal by reaching some sort of partnership deal with their, I think, “Official Metaverse Partner” about a year ago. That was a company that until relatively recently, before that announcement, was involved in ready-to-pour concrete, and somehow pivoted into being a leader in the metaverse, to use their words, and eventually, when attention was put on this, and everyone realized that basically whatever this company, which was called Color Star at the time, was promising to do, it had no capacity to do it, had no track record to do, the people involved with it seemingly had no actual expertise or credibility and had built essentially nothing. It was pretty clear that what Color Star was hoping to get out of it was essentially PR and the 76ers were like, “Oh, here’s a check for some amount of money to be something that we didn’t know existed.” And I think it must be mentioned here that for baseball and for a lot of sports leagues, it’s only relatively recently that they’ve really partnered in any meaningful way with distilled spirits companies. They’ve had beer sponsors for a long time; that’s why the beer sponsors are really recognizable brands. But hard alcohol and sports have not been as tightly linked because, especially as a sport, baseball has a little bit of a “think of the children” kind of halo attached to it.
J: That’s a good point.
A: “Think of the children.”
Z: And so I think there’s something where it’s like …
J: America’s pastime.
Z: Yeah. Someone came along and was like … You would think there would not be this lack of savvy, but again, I don’t know if it’s the good old boy network as much as a sort of just, “Oh, here’s some money. Let’s take it” kind of attitude. But I do think that part of the reason this sort of scam has been able to be perpetrated is because there isn’t the same institutional knowledge of how to go out and find a vodka sponsor, even though you think it wouldn’t be that hard.
Z: I mean, that’s a guess. I don’t know. I don’t know people at Major League Baseball, I guess.
A: Here’s the thing that boggles my mind about all of this, right? I could see if they had duped them into being the Official Sangria Sponsor or the Official White Lightning Sponsor or something.
Z: Or the Official Akvavit Sponsor or something.
A: Yeah. The fact that it’s vodka, you have so many companies that I guarantee you would have paid that money. So look, maybe Diageo’s not allowed to sponsor another sports league; I don’t know what their NFL deal is. But they have Smirnoff, big, big brand, totally could be there. You have obviously also Ketel One there, you have Grey Goose at Bacardi. It could easily have been there. You have Deep Eddy at Heaven Hill.
J: I feel like Deep Eddy would’ve been a really good one.
A: You’re telling me that Deep Eddy doesn’t have whatever this company spent to be the Official Vodka Sponsor?
J: But they’re Evan Williams too, right?
A: Yeah, so it doesn’t make any sense. Unless, I mean, all I could think of is that the person who was behind this signature at Major League Baseball was like, “No one gives a sh*t about vodka anyways, so we might as well go with a company that’s just going to put whatever vodka they want into our branded bottles and on our team-branded baseball bats and whatever, right? And so that’s what we’re going to give the license to, not to Smirnoff or Deep Eddy or whatever, who’s going to demand that it still be their brand on the packaging.” Whereas like whiskey, no one’s going to buy a high-end bourbon, or any bourbon, unless they have the brand on it, right? That’s why everyone would buy Evan Williams. But it’s f*cking mind boggling.
Z: Well, and you would think that if nothing else there would be incentive on baseball’s part, as there would be any of these kind of partnerships, to say, “We want to partner with a brand that’s going to help enhance our brand, not one that’s going to then suddenly leave us looking like complete chumps.” It kind of doesn’t matter. However much money DBI paid for this partnership, I can’t believe it’s enough for Major League Baseball to look this foolish. And yeah, sure, maybe if you partner with an established spirits brand, you’re maybe going to have to make some concessions about how the packaging looks and all that, but it would be much better for Major League Baseball. I mean, this is what good partnerships are about, right? They’re about, to some extent, benefiting both partners in terms of reputation and aligning those things. I mean, we’ve talked about that with a lot of partnership things on this podcast relatively recently, talking about luxury brands partnering with one another in different ways, and it would be preposterous to think about any of those brands not doing any kind of due diligence. I mean, this would be the equivalent of a very well-known spirits brand partnering with a theoretical clothing designer who doesn’t actually make clothes. The fact that there isn’t even a product, it’s not like we’re sitting here talking about MLB partnering with a sh*tty vodka, something that we all agree is crap. It’s like they’re literally partnering with a thing that does not exist. And it’s one thing to see that in the realm of Web3 and stuff like that, which I was talking about before, where like, does any of that exist? Debatable. But here is an actual physical product that you would think that, yeah, as you said, Adam, that your brother, a baseball fan who also drinks vodka, would theoretically be interested in purchasing. And yet there is no product to purchase, which is one of the most ludicrous things in this whole story.
A: Yeah. I mean, because for me, the thing that is at least a little bit more understandable with Web3 is it’s all a bunch of bullsh*t.
A: We’ve talked about this before, right? I mean, just look at the NFT market. If anyone’s thinking about, by the way, if you’re out there in audio land right now and you run a company and you’re thinking about doing an NFT right now on the alcohol space, just stop. Walk away; don’t do it. Look at the value of the market, how it’s completely collapsing, imploding on itself, look at the value of crypto. Just don’t do it. But you can see how things like that happen in this world where everyone’s talking about it so everyone feels like they need to do it. It was the same when the iPhone came out and then everyone was like, “Oh my God, the iPhone, we all have to have an app.” So everyone went to whatever app developer they could to build an app even though you didn’t need an app for any of these things, right? Same for NFTs. So you could see how the 76ers got f*cked, right? They were like, “We need to be doing something in Web3.” Also, look at what’s happening with all the Top Shot stuff. That’s actually on fire and truly working, one of the only NFTs that actually does work. We should have something of our own. There’s this company, I don’t know, it’s Rich’s brother-in-law, we like Rich. Let’s go for it.” That’s clearly what probably happened, right? And it’s so unclear of a space that you could see how people get totally taken advantage of. This is vodka. This is why it makes zero sense. All you need to do is ask one person, “Have you ever had DBI vodka before?” “No.” “Hey, can we try it?”
Z: Well, maybe if they could provide a sample, you would think.
J: Yeah, you can’t even try it.
J: It doesn’t exist.
A: I mean, the funniest thing is to see, I mean, towards the end of the article to see all the stuff that this company’s now doing at All-Star Weekend this past week.
J: Yeah, they did a bunch of stuff.
Z: Kind of. Did they?
A: They had a booth.
Z: I mean, did they?
A: And a tent.
J: And people, and they had what seemed to be prototypes of these beverages there, but nobody actually drinking out of them.
A: This is so strange, man.
Z: I will say this: I want to ask you guys since we’re in this conversation, since it’s one of the things that they are marketing, booze in a bag sounds like a terrible product idea to me.
Z: I don’t know. It feels like, who needs this? I get it, we are in this space and maybe there’s something to be said about moving away from glass bottles. I mean, we’ve talked about that on the podcast before. And maybe there is the tiny kernel of an idea that’s not terrible, although I think booze in a bag is kind of maybe a little too on-the-nose- type term for it. But what’s weird about this is, it’s terrible, there’s no product, the whole thing is obviously some kind of scam, I think maybe it’s a pump and dump scheme for whatever this possibly actually traded company is, it’s unclear. But the product idea is not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, which brings me to the question of like, why aren’t they just making this? It’s not hard to find vodka that you could put in a bag; there’s a lot of it floating around. The weirdest thing to me is, this scam could have actually been effective, I think, and stood up to a little bit of scrutiny had there literally been a product. And it’s not like it’s a hard product to come by. And yet, there isn’t even that, which is, again, the part of this story that I just love and also weep at.
A: I mean, to bring us home, it almost feels like someone connected to this guy from DBI was like, “I know Ted” — I’m just going to name him Ted — “at MLB, or whoever’s in control of sponsorships or whatever or licensing. I’ve heard at a dinner party when he was drunk that they’re looking to license more spirits, whatever.” And this guy being, as we’ve seen, kind of a serial—
A: Hustler was like, “I’m going to figure out how to be that vodka that can get that licensing, and I will be able to get enough money to pay the fee they want.” It almost feels like something had to have happened. Because I don’t think this person would’ve created the vodka first and then thought he could have totally swindled Major League Baseball. It feels like he must have heard from somebody that there was a gullible person with a very loose pen. That’s all I can think of.
J: I think he has a lot of personal wealth.
A: The DBI guy?
A: Well, that’s possible, I guess.
J: But just to Zach’s point earlier, this must have…
A: It all goes down in Turks and Caicos; I don’t know.
J: This must have taken a lot of money for this partnership to happen, right?
Z: Well, and I think that’s the most uncertain piece of this whole thing is like, we don’t know what kind of money changed hands, and if there’s kind of an insider dealing. Because I think you, I don’t know that you can speak to anything specifically, but I think you sort of hinted at before, Adam, that, like, some of the people that we know in the industry were like, “We didn’t even know this was a thing that MLB was putting out there.” It’s not like they put out a call for bids.
J: An open call, yeah.
Z: And then these people came in with the highest bid. And again, to come back, it’s not like your official metaverse partner, which wasn’t even a thing two years ago. It’s like, Major League Baseball could have found a vodka partner in a very conventional way had they cared to, and somehow they didn’t care to, and that’s a story that we would love to get more information on. If you guys know anything, email@example.com, like how baseball came to this side of it. Because I think we kind of understand what’s in it for DBI, right?
A: Yeah, a lot.
J: Of course.
Z: And we don’t exactly know what DBI is, what they intend or intended to do, but it’s pretty clear where their benefit is because they are literally a company of one person and being affiliated with any kind of entity, let alone one as well known as Major League Baseball, is obviously a huge win for them. But where MLB’s side of the story is is completely a mystery still, since they haven’t commented, and it will be fascinating to find out. We might have to do a follow-up podcast because I’m still giddy about this.
A: It’s so good.
Z: That’s the part that I just don’t understand.
J: But also, can you imagine getting a 1-liter bag of just vodka at a baseball game?
Z: Well, I don’t think the point is to sell them at baseball games. They’re not selling you a liter of vodka at baseball games. I think it’s like to put in liquor stores.
J: Oh, you’re just getting it for home?
Z: You’re just buying it.
A: Or for tailgating or for whatever, yeah.
J: Oh, OK. But the RTDs are for the games?
Z: I love the idea of Joanna being like, yeah, they’re just going to give you a bag of vodka when you walk in.
J: In the stands.
A: So here’s the thing, they’re totally trying to copy the Savannah Bananas.
J: What is that?
Z: Oh, my god.
A: Oh, the Savannah Bananas?
Z: I can’t believe you know what the Savanna Bananas are, Adam, for someone who hates baseball.
A: Oh, but I think that the Savanna Bananas are the best because they’re anti-baseball. They’re just about having fun. And so basically, they’re going to give it to you pre… You’re going to get the bag in the second inning or whatever, and you have to finish it by the seventh, and then whoever can run the bases during the seventh inning stretch wins tickets to the next game.
Z: And an immediate trip to the hospital, my God.
A: Exactly. I mean, what else is going on? Anyways, this story is batsh*t. There’s more to come. We were going to do a whole other part of this podcast about just the allure of sponsoring sports in general when it comes to alcohol. But obviously, there’s too much to talk about here so we will come back to that very soon in a new episode, because I am very interested to chat about whether sports is the last bastion of sponsorship. Is that really the last place that has a massive return for brands? If it’s not obviously partnering with very keyed-in publications and fashion brands and things like that. I think sports are probably your last opportunity to have mass reach. But that’s a conversation for another time because this was just too insane to not spend the entire time talking about it. So let us know what you think, firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the story, it’s up on the site. It’s very easy to find, the headline is very clear. And Zach and Joanna, I’ll talk to you Friday.
J: Talk to you then.
Z: Sounds great.
Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, please leave us a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever it is you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show.
Now for the credits. VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and Seattle, Washington, by myself and Zach Geballe, who does all the editing and loves to get the credit. Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all of this possible, and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tastings director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team, who are instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you again.
Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.