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World Cup Wines

German Wine Producers successful with World Cup Wines

Sales in the Grocery Sector Exceeded Expectations

In the aftermath of the World Cup soccer games in Germany, the German Wine Institute (DWI), Mainz, is taking stock of how well "WM" wines ("World cup" wines) fared since the institute negotiated rights with FIFA to make German wines officially licensed products entitled to bear the FIFA WM 2006™ (world cup) logos.... either the WM trophy or “celebrating faces of football” (smilies) – on bottles or labels.


Thomas Klaas, director of DWI domestic marketing comments: "Of the 55 wineries that took advantage of the ‘head start’ this opportunity afforded, the majority were able to really score with customers. In all, ca. two million bottles of "WM" wines were sold during the 20-month period prior to and during the games. Furthermore, in addition to these remarkable sales figures, our commitment to German wine in general had an image-buidling effect that can’t be underestimated. In all, our investment in the ´WM´ more than paid off."


Sales Expectations Surpassed


Particularly the commercial wineries and wine growers’ cooperatives that supplied "WM" wines to the grocery sector were quite satisfied with the wines’ performance. "The trade embraced the ´WM´ concept with bravura," reported suppliers. The sales expectations of this important trade sector were wildly exceeded in some cases. In addition, demand for "WM" wines by the specialty trade, restaurateurs and consumers was also good. Many wineries were also able to win new customers thanks to the sales of wines bearing the world cup logos.


Overall, success with "WM" wines greatly depended on the active involvement of each winery. Producers located near a "WM" stadium, or who had one or more customer(s) in the vicinity of a "WM" stadium, were particularly satisfied with sales results. In fact, sales were better within the wine growing regions (predominantly in the southwestern corner of the country) than in the north. Producers who were really "on the ball" launched their marketing efforts early enough to take advantage of important sales periods, such as the Christmas holiday season – well before the games began.


It is interesting to note that the sales of "WM" wines went hand in hand with the esteem of the German soccer team. During the course of the games, for example, as the Germans advanced to the finals, sales increased.


"WM" Wines Beyond the Borders of Germany


Some wineries were successful in acquiring orders for "WM" wines beyond the borders of Germany. One wine growers’ cooperative in Baden, for example, was able to supply 70,000 bottles to a large grocery chain in Switzerland. WM wines were also exported to Holland, Japan, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Some Japanese importers reported an increase in demand for German wine of up to 150 percent. Last but not least: the "WM" soccer games sparked the interest of foreign media and consumers in all things "German" – including the wines of Germany.


"WM" Wines Make Friends


Overall, there were about 130 "WM" wines on offer, primarily ranging in price from Euro 3.50 to Euro 7. There were also specialties that cost more than Euro 10. With regard to the varietals on offer: wineries placed their bets on international varietals, such as Riesling and Chardonnay, or focused on regional specialties, such as Lemberger and Trollinger (in Württemberg).


More than 100,000 bottles Delivered to the Stadiums


Thanks to the DWI agreement with FIFA, whereby all wines served at official 2006 FIFA World Cup events would be German, particularly in conjunction with hospitality for VIPs, some 100,000 bottles of wine were delivered to the stadiums for the 64 games. The FIFA organizational committee has already said that the wines that were selected for this purpose were well received by the guests.


In closing: German wines doubtlessly contributed to a super atmosphere at many a fan event in the course of the World Cup games, when Germany was host to thousands from European and overseas markets!


Photograph © DWI, source: DWI
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