JOHNNIE WALKER was unveiled as the ‘Official Whisky Partner of Scottish Rugby’ and the ‘Official Whisky of the Scotland Rugby team’ at a press event at Murrayfield Stadium earlier today [Tuesday]. The three-year deal means that the brand will now be the house pour whisky at all Scotland home matches.
“Johnnie Walker and Scottish Rugby have so much in common that this is a natural partnership for both our organisations,” said David Cutter, President of Global Supply and Procurement for Johnnie Walker parent company Diageo.
“We share long histories and deep roots in Scottish culture, but we are not prepared settle for that. Johnnie Walker is about progress, about challenging tradition, breaking new ground and finding new audiences for our whisky. Scottish Rugby is doing the same for rugby, opening the sport up to diverse new generations of players and fans.
“Johnnie Walker is made by a great team of people here in Scotland, with unrivalled craft and passion for what they do, which parallels the great skill and determination of Scotland’s rugby community. This partnership will celebrate those shared values and work to inspire new rugby and whisky fans alike.”
The Scottish Rugby partnership completes a strong roster of cultural associations for Johnnie Walker in Edinburgh. It was recently announced as Official Whisky Partner of Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and for the second-year running will play host to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party.
Work has also begun on transforming the iconic Frasers department store building at the west end of Princess Street into one of Scotland’s leading visitor attractions.
“We’re in the process of refurbishing the whole building, top to bottom, all seven floors,” explained Cutter. “It is going to be a whole digital and visual experience, as well as training areas for students and world class bars – we’re going to build one of the best bars in the world on the roof of the building. We’re expecting this to be one of the major tourist attractions in the country as the starting point for a journey into Scotch whisky across Scotland.”
The partnership starts immediately, and while strict commercial rules mean that the brand cannot be showcased by the Scotland team at the stadium during World Cup matches, Johnnie Walker will have a presence elsewhere in Japan.
“We’re creating this concept of ‘Scotland House’ in Yokohama, where supporters, press, colleagues and so on can come and have a bit of fun and a glass of Johnnie Walker if they’re in town watching the World Cup,” explained Dominic McKay, the Chief Operating Officer of the Scottish Rugby Union.
“In recent years we have taken a global approach to promoting Scottish Rugby in Asia, United States and across Europe and in doing so can provide a great platform for our partners to share in our experiences beyond our shores. We are therefore delighted to have the world’s most popular Scotch in Johnnie Walker alongside us when our national team are representing their country and it is another example of an international blue-chip brand seeing positive opportunities to engage with the wider public through our sport and Scottish Rugby.”