Grey Goose’s “Honey Deuce” cocktail has been serving up fans at the US Open since its introduction 15 years ago. The drink has become a signature at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, comparable to the mint julep at the Kentucky Derby or the Pimm’s Cup at Wimbledon.
More than 1 million Honey Deuce cocktails have been sold at the tennis tournament over the last 15 years. Grey Goose, which first partnered with the US Open 17 years ago, is excited to keep the momentum going as the tournament returns to New York City this week. It’s the largest sporting event since the city’s reopening.
“We don't really see it as a partnership with a tennis tournament,” Aleco Azqueta, Grey Goose VP of marketing, North America, told Campaign US. “We see it as a partnership with a cultural event in New York, which is such an important market for us. This year, more than any other year, is so special because it's almost like the reopening of New York City at one of the largest live events.”
But because not all tennis fans are able to travel to see the tournament in New York City, Grey Goose brought the stadium experience to them with the Honey Deuce Cocktail Kit, which features fresh lemonade, raspberry liqueur and a honeydew melon skewer. The kits also include a limited-edition US Open Grey Goose bottle made in partnership with the USTA and a commemorative cup, which lists all of the US Open champions. The kits will be available in 40 states.
“As people have stayed at home [during the pandemic], people have also become professional mixologists, creating these wonderful cocktails,” Azqueta said. “Now you actually get to replicate Honey Deuce cocktails at your house, something that previously you only had at the stadium.”
Grey Goose is also hosting US Open watch parties at local restaurants and bars around the U.S. to give back to local businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic, said Azqueta.
As restaurant dining picks up across the US, Grey Goose’s profits are back on the rise after last summer, when most bars and restaurants were shut down. Last year, summer sales
primarily came from liquor stores and grocery stores, according to Azqueta. Now, profits from bars and restaurants are funneling back into the business.
“It’s been amazing how much success we're having in bars and restaurants now,” he said. “There's so much demand to just get out there, socialize and enjoy wonderful cocktails. Last year was also a phenomenal year but, unfortunately, we didn't have the restaurant and bar piece of our business, which really was tough for everybody across the industry.”
As the Delta variant continues to spread in the U.S., Grey Goose is keeping an eye on how to approach future live events. But options like the Honey Deuce Cocktail Kit allow everyone to enjoy Grey Goose no matter where they are.
“It brings a lot of hope that we're able to get together again to experience a live event,” said Azqueta. “It's all about people being able to have the full US Open experience. It’s a comeback story in a lot of ways.”