This season, prepare to break out a bottle of Barefoot while kicking back with a football game.

E. & J. Gallo Winery, a conglomerate which owns popular brands such as Barefoot, Apothic, and William Hill Estate, is now the official wine sponsor of the National Football League (NFL). Heading into the 2022 season, chief marketing officer Stephanie Gallo says she anticipates a multi-year partnership with opportunities for growth.

The partnership will be “transformative,” she says, in creating more inclusivity in the wine sphere, as Gallo hopes the partnership will lead new consumers to choose wine over other beverages.

“For us as an organization and category leader, it’s to continue our quest that started in 1933 to make wine more accessible and to democratize wine,” she says. “It’s really important for us to align ourselves with a partner like the NFL, which has over 190 million consumers at its core fanbase.”

In a press release, the company states that it hopes the sponsorship will further “demystify” wine for consumers.

Recent shifts in the NFL’s approach to alcohol marketing paved the way for Gallo to join as a sponsor. The sponsorship follows a 2019 contract with Babe, a canned wine brand by Anheuser-Busch, which was formerly the Official Wine Sponsor of the NFL.

As the NFL expanded to include separate partnerships for beer, wine, and spirits in 2021, Gallo says the wine sponsor slot became available. The campaign — over nine months in the making — officially launched its activations in August.

Barefoot wine will lead as the first brand Gallo will spotlight in the sponsorship.

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