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Phil Mickelson’s big new business venture? Light beer

November 8, 2019

Can Phil Mickelson rejuvenate Amstel Light? That’s the hope for both the beer brand and the golfer now that the two have entered into a “true business partnership,” per parent company Heineken.

According to representatives from the brand, Amstel Light hasn’t gotten proper attention in recent years. Heineken CMO Jonnie Cahill admitted to Brewers Journal that Amstel had grown “stale” and that when it came to declining business, “we got what we deserved.”

Stale isn’t really a word you want associated with beer, of course, but Amstel Light is hoping to set up a full and proper comeback. Enter Mickelson, who’s coming aboard in more than just some sponsorship capacity. The two have entered into an agreement that will give Mickelson some stake in the brand’s success. What does that mean, exactly?

“The short answer is if we’re growing Amstel Light, we all make more money,” Heineken’s head of partnerships Quinn Kilbury told Front Office Sports. “In the end, that’s why we have a deal. We both have skin in the game, and if you know Phil, that’s his personality.”

Yeah, that sounds like our guy. Sure, he’s seen a recent slide in on-course performance (last week, Mickelson fell out of the top 50 for the first time since Bill Clinton’s first term in office) but this is as good a time as any to be aligning with Lefty. Look no further than the campaigns behind Mizzen + Main, the clothing company he singlehandedly put on the map (having a sale at the moment, now that you mention it).

Pitchman Phil works because he’s self-deprecating, self-aware and because he isn’t self-conscious. These traits have served him well in his latest conquests of both Twitter and Instagram, where he’s become golf’s King of Posting. And while the campaign won’t begin in earnest until 2020, Mickelson’s been sneaking hints out on social media since late August, when he mentioned that when it comes to beer, “Only Amstel Lights and only once a month.”

Indeed, Mickelson isn’t really a beer guy; we’ve seen him more recently associated with red wine and coffee. But, as he said in one tweet, “I don’t often drink beer, but when I do, I drink ONLY Amstel Light.” That’s a rip off Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World, another Heineken brand — and a good sign he’s a committed company man.

There’s plenty to root for here, but at the top of that list would be the opportunity for Mickelson to start a beer war with Brooks Koepka, who has aligned himself with Michelob Ultra. Kilbury said that without a big budget, the campaign around Mickelson will centered on his natural enthusiasm — and his incentive for growth. He won’t be shy about it.