We already know that the Phillies’ Aaron Nola throws a fast pitch. This season, he’ll also have a sales pitch, thanks to a new partnership with D.G. Yuengling & Son.
Yuengling on Monday announced that the Phillies pitcher is the company’s latest brand ambassador, as well as one of the first active MLB players to partner with a beer company. According to the Action Network’s Darren Rovell, the partnership comes after the MLB’s recent lifting of a rule that previously banned active players from endorsing alcohol brands.
“Yuengling holds a special place in my heart,” Nola said in a statement. “I had my first Yuengling Lager after being drafted by Philadelphia and I haven’t looked back. … I love cracking open a cold Yuengling whether it’s a day fishing with my dad and brother back in Louisiana or after a big game.”
As part of the partnership, Nola, who signed a four-year, $45-million extension with the Phillies last month, will promote Yuengling through events appearances, meet-and-greets, and other live promotions. The Phils pitcher also will be featured in Philadelphia-area advertising for Yuengling.
In turn, Yuengling will support Nola’s “local community efforts,” such as his anti-bullying speech at Hopkinson Elementary School in North Philly earlier this year, according to a statement.
In addition to their partnership with Nola, Yuengling has also been a sponsor of the Phillies since 2017. This year, the company, which is considered the oldest operating brewery in America, is celebrating its 190th anniversary in business.
“Our partnership with Aaron is one of the many ways we are celebrating the milestone this year,” Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer, said via a release. “We can’t wait for the start of baseball season and to cheer Aaron and the Phillies on with a cold Yuengling beer.”
Their partnership with Nola is the latest news from Yuengling, which earlier this month was named the top U.S. craft beer company by sales volume by the Brewers Association, and industry trade group. This year marked Yuengling’s fifth in a row at the top of the list, beating out similarly well-known brands like Boston Beer Co. (makers of Sam Adams), Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and New Belgium Brewing Co. Yuengling was also named the sixth largest beer maker by sales volume overall, craft or not, putting it behind beer giants like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch.
Yuengling is something of a controversial brand in the Philadelphia area these days, thanks to a boycott that began in 2016 after owner Dick Yuengling endorsed Donald Trump in that year’s presidential race. In response, critics called for a boycott of Yuengling beer, citing previous union-busting, tax, and environmental issues at the company going back to 2006.
However, as owner Yuengling told Billy Penn in 2017, the most recent boycott did little to influence the brewery’s bottom line,” or at least “nothing noticeable.”