On Oct. 22, following the news that the Harvard Club had rejected Spitzer's application for membership (he graduated Harvard Law in 1984), Cuervo sent out a press release/open invitation to Spitzer to be Cuervo's guest at the CuervoGames, to take place Oct. 30 in Las Vegas.
Alluding to Spitzer's 2008 prostitution scandal, the release assures Spitzer that Cuervo will treat him "like a VIP, not an outcast," if he accepts the all-expenses-paid weekend invite.
"While it is Halloween weekend and we expect most people to come dressed in costume, our invitation to Mr. Spitzer is in no way contingent upon him dressing up," Cuervo brand director Brian Radics stated in the release. "In fact, he's welcome to lounge by the pool during CuervoGames competition in his 'signature' tall dress socks if he'd like, so long as he's drinking responsibly."
This morning, Cuervo followed up with another release/open letter -- this time asking MLB officials to reschedule game 3 of the World Series, slated for Oct. 30. Doing so, Cuervo advises, will help MLB "avoid the embarrassment of rating drops" due to the conflict with the CuervoGames finals.
If the MLB reschedules the game, Cuervo promises, it will send its own game champions to game 3, and would even be "willing to look into having the CuervoGames National Champions throw out the ceremonial pitch" for the game.
The chutzpah may be working, at least in terms of generating interest on social media.
YouGov's BrandIndex, which tracks major brands' social media buzz on a daily basis, shows that Cuervo's overall buzz score among adults (21 and older) rose a bit immediately following the PR efforts.
Cuervo had been scoring above the rest of the spirits sector's adult buzz for most of 2010, including a peak time between April and mid-July when its score sometimes exceeded 11, versus about 6 to 7.9 for spirits brands overall during the year's first seven months. (A BrandIndex score can range from 100 to -100, with a zero score indicating equally positive and negative feedback.)
Cuervo's buzz score took a major dip after mid-July, hitting 4.9 on Sept. 2 (overall spirits' average was 6.4 for that date). But as of the end of last week, the tequila's scores were rising again, and registering in line with the rest of the category, BrandIndex reports.