Thatchers Cider is to make its debut at the world’s premier three-day-event, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.
Taking place between 1st and 5th May 2019 at the Badminton Estate in South Gloucestershire, Thatchers will have exclusive cider pouring rights throughout the event, which is expected to attract upwards of 160,000 people.
The Somerset cidermaker will be serving its Gold and Haze ciders on draught across all bars at Badminton Horse Trials. Visitors will also be able to enjoy Thatchers recently launched sweet cider, Thatchers Rosé.
As part of the new partnership, Thatchers is lending its name to the traditional style pub at Badminton Lakeside Garden, called the Thatchers Tack Room, that will be offering a full range of premium draught beers and Thatchers ciders, spirits as well as soft drinks from Wednesday right the way through till Sunday 6pm.
Thatchers popular Vat 12 Tasting Truck will also be at the event for sampling.
Thatchers, which was founded in 1904, has signed a three-year deal with Badminton Horse Trials.
Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cidermaker at Thatchers says,
“We’re delighted to be making our debut at Badminton in what is a very special year for the event. They are as proud of their history and heritage as we are of ours, and this is therefore a very fitting partnership for us. We look forward to bringing our range of ciders to refresh visitors during the five days of eventing and entertainment. The event is a fantastic spectacle, offering visitors top level sport as well as a great family day out in a stunning location. With its strong heritage and commitment to offering visitors the very best, we’re thrilled to be starting our partnership with them.”
The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is a ticketed event, starting off on the Wednesday with an amateur evening competition; with the international Dressage following on Thursday and Friday, and the Cross Country on Saturday. The competition comes to an exciting conclusion on Sunday with the Show Jumping.
Thatchers Cider will be the “Official Cider” of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, to be held from 30 May to 14 July in England and Wales, with 48 matches played across 11 venues in what will be the year’s largest sporting event in the United Kingdom.
As the Official Cider of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the Somerset cider maker will have exclusive pouring rights for its Thatchers Gold and Thatchers Haze brands in each of the venues for the duration of the matches.
In addition, Thatchers Gold and Thatchers Haze will be available exclusively in the eight official fan zones that are being organised during the six week-long cricket celebrations.
ICC General Manager – Commercial, Campbell Jamieson said: “We welcome Thatchers as a partner for what is one of the most anticipated sports event in the world with the sport’s billion fans following the fortunes of their favourite players and teams. Thatchers is a renowned cider brand and we are delighted to be teaming up with them for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.”
Martin Thatcher, Managing Director of the family-run Thatchers Cider said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a major sports occasion that will have the eyes of the global sports community firmly on it. We know sporting events on this scale don’t come around very often, and we’re delighted to be a part of it.
“Cricket has such a long heritage and tradition, something that as a fourth-generation family company we share and are immensely proud of. So, this partnership with the ICC is a real fit with our brand. We are really excited about bringing our ciders to the World Cup so fans from around the world can add to their enjoyment of some brilliant cricket with a refreshing pint of Thatchers.”
Over 850,000 people are expected to attend the matches which are being played across cricket venues in England and Wales at: Lords Cricket Ground and The Oval in London; Trent Bridge in Nottingham; Cardiff Wales Stadium; The County Ground in Bristol; The Hampshire Bowl in Southampton; The County Ground in Taunton; Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester; Edgbaston in Birmingham; Headingly in Leeds, and The Riverside in Chester-le-Street.
Fan Zones, which are expected to attract upwards of 200,000 fans, will be set up in Nottingham, Southampton, Taunton, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Durham and London.
Martin adds: “We know the Cricket World Cup will deliver, and we look forward to working with the ICC to gain maximum exposure and activation for our ciders during this hugely anticipated summer of cricket. Cricket has exceptionally passionate fans, and we’re keen to share the experience with them.”
The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will be a truly multi-cultural event and taps into the UK’s love of sport – in fact according to YouGov, 83% of adults in the UK follow football, rugby or cricket.
As the Official Cider, there will be Thatchers branding at the bars within all the stadia, as well as a presence on the giant venue screens.
Entitled Race Car and featuring the Thatchers “spokesperson” first introduced in the Somerset cidermaker’s 2017 Hot Air Balloon ad, the commercial follows an unexpectedly slow race car driving through some iconic West Country landmarks.
Expected to be seen over 30 million times in live rugby during the first two months of the campaign alone, and in total seen by ¾ of the adult population, the TV commercial’s message to viewers is that Thatchers is totally uncompromising about the quality of its cider – if something’s not perfect, it’s useless. You wouldn’t settle for a race car that could almost race – so why buy a cider that’s almost perfect, reinforcing the link between quality and perfection of Thatchers.
The 30 second Race Car commercial will be first seen on ITV during the Six Nations Rugby England Vs Ireland match on 2nd February at half time. It will then be shown from February through to September on ITV, Channel 4 and Multichannel, during this year’s top sporting events and TV moments. Hero spots will include Six Nations Rugby, The Grand National, Monaco Grand Prix, Cricket World Cup, Game of Thrones, Great British Bake Off, and the Women’s Football World Cup.
The ad will be included in a VOD (video on demand) campaign running April to July, and also runs in cinema during July and August, including the silver spot in the hotly anticipated new Quentin Tarantino Film – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, starring amongst others Brad Pitt, Leonardo di Caprio and Margot Robbie.
Yvonne Flannery, Head of Brands at Thatchers Cider comments, “This new phase of our award-winning campaign features our popular Spokesperson, as well as cameos from Martin Thatcher and our chief cidermaker Richard Johnson. Filmed in iconic West Country locations, it retains a gentle, warm-hearted yet funny tone, and leaves the viewer with no doubt as to the taste and quality of Thatchers ciders – what cider’s supposed to taste like.
“Following from our Hot Air Balloon commercial, which we know resonated strongly with viewers on enjoyment and memorability*, Race Car creates a long-term campaign for Thatchers, filmed in the same, sunny photographic style, and featuring familiar faces, music and scenery to support brand recognition.
“Of course, the notion that the race car is going so slow is clearly ridiculous, as was the low flying hot air balloon in the first of the ad series. This is a humorous ad that will appeal to a wide audience and introduce new customers to our brand.”
Joint London are the creative agency behind the campaign for Thatchers, with Bray Leino advising on media buying. The film was directed by Declan Lowney, who has shot numerous commercials for some of the world’s biggest brands. He is also a top television comedy director, with Father Ted, Little Britain and Moone Boy amongst his credits.
The TV campaign is accompanied by a new series of short films for digital channels, also featuring the Thatchers’ Spokesperson, who finds himself in humorous situations at Thatchers Myrtle Farm, always highlighting the Thatchers family of ciders and their great taste characteristics – Thatchers Gold, Haze, Vintage and Katy.
2019 will be another important year for the growth of the Thatchers brand, with planned marketing activity including experiential, sponsorships, events and festivals. The family-run Somerset cidermaker is continually supporting and growing its brands to help drive people into the cider category, and is one of the biggest investors in marketing amongst UK cidermakers.
With its focus on apple cider, Thatchers is driving the apple cider category across both on and off trades with its Gold and Haze ciders. Thatchers Gold is the no 2 canned apple cider (by value)* in the off trade and Thatchers Haze is the No 1 cloudy cider. In the on trade Thatchers Haze is the fastest growing cider in the top ten draught ciders**, and Gold has the best rate of sale of all draught apple ciders.
The commercial was shot in locations including Wells, Shiplate, and Castle Combe.
Gordon Johncox, the chair of the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) and the chief executive of Aston Manor Cider, addressed MPs, government officials and industry figures to outline a British success story in need of support.
Gordon outlined how collaboration across the industry by cider makers of all scales is a positive feature, though the hard-pressed sector still needs support from government.
As a relatively small industry, representing the best interests of every cider maker informs all aspects of activity of the NACM. The vision of the association is that all producers can operate successfully and fairly in a competitive market, whilst continuing to support their communities, employees and apple growers.
To enable this, he called for a balanced regulatory environment for cider makers reflecting the unique circumstances of producers. In particular, MPs, Ministers and officials were urged to deliver a consistent application of regulations.
Gordon challenged the Government’s willingness to understand the specific situations of cider makers. While headlines from the Autumn budget stated that cider duty was frozen, ciders in the middle duty band received a 25% tax increase, impacting many small cider makers.
Following his speech, Gordon commented: “Cider businesses of all sizes are working hard to deliver a sustainable future for the benefit of consumers and the rural environment. The industry is a significant part of British heritage.
“We need the support of politicians to work with us to return cider to more positive results, remove red tape and the unnecessary rules that limit innovation and investment. This support can enable cider makers produce fantastic products that interest in our category.
“We work to see every cider maker flourish and grow in line with their ambitions, whilst maintaining the highest standards. We firmly believe that with our collaborative nature and how we support one another this can be achieved when we can rely on consistent and sensible legislation.
“In recent months we have seen members providing orcharding experts when others experience weather related problems, large companies have supported smaller producers to expand their packaging ranges. When something is challenging or if advice is needed, small producers will always be supported, and to me, this is why the UK cider industry is so very special.”
The Parliamentary Cider Group Reception was an opportunity to showcase the best of British cider, which is home to the largest cider market in the world. The evening was attended by cider makers from across the South West, Midlands and further afield, as well as many MPs that represent cider making regions within their constituencies.
The NACM is the UK cider industry representative body, working on behalf of large and small producers:
Richard, who has followed in his father’s footsteps in growing and supplying apples to Thatchers, was presented with the Thatchers Apple Grower of the Year award at the cidermaker’s annual Wassail celebrations.
Richard supplies seven different apple varieties to Thatchers, both bittersweet and dessert – from Katy early in the season, through to Yarlington Mill as one of the last to be harvested.
Richard Johnson, chief cidermaker at Thatchers says, “Richard has put in an enormous amount of effort throughout the growing and harvest season to ensure his apples are the highest quality. In fact, this last harvest he supplied us with 101 trailer loads of fruit, which were all fantastic quality from September through to November. That is a real achievement over such a large harvest.
“Richard’s dedication to quality matches our own and truly reflects our ethos that the best cider starts in the orchard.”
Thatchers presents the award each year to recognise the commitment to quality that the growers have demonstrated when supplying fruit into the Thatchers cider mill.
Thatchers has over 500 acres of its own orchard in and around its cider mill at Myrtle Farm in Somerset, as well as a number of growers throughout the West Country.
“Climate and soil – as well as the expertise of the grower – all play their part in producing top quality apples for cidermaking,” continues Richard Johnson. “As a cidermaker we have our favourite apple varieties to suit our own style of ciders – Richard Morgan-Jones supplies us with Katy, which is pressed into our single variety cider of the same name; newer apple varieties such as Gilly and Jane, and much-loved bittersweet varieties Dabinett and Yarlington Mill.
“We test every batch of apples for quality that arrive at Myrtle Farm during harvest and reward our growers accordingly. This year Richard Morgan-Jones excelled, and we are very happy that he’s our Apple Grower of the Year.”