TREASURY Wine Estates has triggered a global relaunch of its Rosemount wine label to re-engage with consumers and freshen up its appeal, and has signed a leading sponsorship deal with the AFL that it believes will get the brand into more customers' hands.
New packaging that will see the dumping of its diamond-shape bottle in favour of a standard wine-bottle shape is part of a push by Rosemount Estate's chief executive, Angus McPherson, to re-establish its position within the Treasury Wine portfolio after it had drifted for years under the previous ownership of beer group Foster's.
Under a deal to be unveiled today, Rosemount Estate will become the AFL's official wine partner. The new partnership is to be celebrated at this month's 2012 AFL Hall of Fame induction dinner.
Treasury Wine Estates, Rosemount's owner, is already a corporate partner of the AFL, and the elevation of Rosemount will support the wine group's sponsorship ambitions with the country's leading sporting code.
"This partnership will help build our brand and open opportunities for sampling and enjoyment occasions that align with the AFL's needs and those of their passionate supporters," Mr McPherson said.
Mr McPherson, who formerly worked at family-owned wine company Casella, owner of the very successful label Yellow Tail, told BusinessDay it was crucial for Rosemount to re-engage with drinkers.
"I think one of the key things that we are looking at with the refocus around Rosemount is talking to these great consumers that we have always had but who we stopped talking to for a little while," he said.
The packaging and marketing relaunch will include a new push into the US, where it is now the biggest-selling Australian wine in the $8-$10 bracket, and a more interactive website that takes in social media.
The bottle's unorthodox diamond shape is being dropped because of a belief that it limits Rosemount's ability to attract premium prices as serious wine buffs view it as a gimmick.
Rosemount has been the odd man out among its Foster's stablemate global brands that include Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Lindemans, with the marketing-driven label unashamedly tailoring its wines to suit the latest fashion and trends in the market.
Founded by entrepreneur Bob Oatley more than 40 years ago, Rosemount was sold to Southcorp for $1.5 billion in 2001 and then sold on to Foster's as part of its $3.7 billion takeover of Southcorp in mid-2005.
"We want to get Rosemount back into people's hands," said Mr McPherson. "And that's why being a wine partner of the AFL works so well."