You might not associate college football with sober alternatives to drinking, but relaxation beverage brand Recess wants to change that thought.
Recess entered an agreement with the USC Trojans to become the team’s official mocktail -- a first not just for the team, but college sports in general, according to the brand. With the designation, the brand’s Recess Zero Proof line -- comprising four alcohol-free takes on a Margarita, Paloma, watermelon mojito and mule -- will be served at every USC Trojans home game at the LA Coliseum. Recess Zero Proof will be stocked at all stadium bars alongside alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. Notably, they will continue to be offered to fans in the fourth quarter, when the stadium stops selling alcoholic beverages.
“Recognizing the increasing demand for non-alcoholic options at mainstream events, we saw an ideal opportunity to collaborate with USC and usher in a new wave of sports partnerships,” Recess CEO Ben Witte told Marketing Daily.
With each 12 ounce can containing 25 calories or less, and 5 grams of sugar or less, Recess’ Zero Proof line represents an alternative to both alcoholic beverages and sodas. Recess Zero Proof also positions itself as a more natural offering than soft drinks, sweetened with agave and made with real fruit and a “functional blend” of plant and plant-derived ingredients such as guayasa, lemon balm, and L-thaeanine (a compound foud in green tea), which purport to have cognitive-enhancing and anxiety-relieving properties.
“We’ve been seeing a growing trend in sober curiosity and alcohol moderation, especially among our Gen Z consumers, as Recess fans turn to our drinks in place of alcoholic beverages,” Witte explained. “With the-college aged crowd drinking less, and being one of our main customer bases, it made sense to partner with USC to offer our target market what they are already desiring: better non-alcoholic options that are more widely available in places that traditionally only serve alcohol or sugary soda.”
Witte explained that the beverages were designed for “social use occasions,” adding, “Our strategy with this partnership is to showcase that alcohol-free options have a place at mainstream events, even in sports arenas previously dominated by big-name alcohol partnerships.”
While the focus is on stadium activations, Recess is promoting the offering to fans of the USC Trojans and Recess through social components on Instagram, as well as email and digital marketing elements. The initiative follows the brand’s recent retail expansion, which brought Recess Mood and Zero Proof into 5,000 additional retailers across the country, including major retail chains like Target, H-E-B, and Sprout’s.