When you think football, is coffee the first thing on your mind? Well, if not, Black Rifle Coffee Company is working to ensure that it is.
Amid the revamp of the Washington Football Team’s name, logo, and basically everything else, their home stadium experience has been reimagined for the 2021 season as well. After a Flavors of the DMV showcase in June, where eight local vendors were chosen to enhance the game day experience at FedEx Field, team officials also announced a partnership with Black Rifle Coffee Company.
With the NFL holding the No. 1 fan base in the country, the Washington Football Team represents the largest fan base within the NFL, totaling 2.4 million in the DC metro area alone. Many have ties to the military through their own service or through contributions and support for the military.
Considering that the team has this incredible military connection, the partnership with Black Rifle is a natural fit.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Warner/Black Rifle Coffee Company.
From BRCC’s beginnings in online sales, to growing a partnership with 5.11 Tactical in 2015, another with the Las Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, and yet another with Bass Pro that launched in 2020, this partnership with the Washington Football Team is the next step in revolutionizing Black Rifle’s retail process.
“We like the idea of being in the Washington, DC, area,” said Tom Davin, BRCC co-CEO. “The goal is to move from doing everything online — creating brand awareness and building this partnership are all steps in the right direction.”
During the 2020 football season, Black Rifle conducted research with six football teams in five states. The combination of the Washington Football Team’s fan base and military support, as well as their top-five ranking in designated marketing areas, brought together the most attractive marketing package.
The Washington Football Team is known for Washington Salute, a military appreciation program that honors the veteran and active-duty community, as well as for hosting the only USO club of its kind in their stadium.
In addition to having its own spot, three actually, in the stadium, BRCC has also partnered with USO-Metro for the Club at FedEx Field, which is open to active-duty military, veterans, and their families. This military stadium club, with average attendance around 700, provides complimentary food (via Mission BBQ), beverages, live music, giveaways, and now coffee thanks to Black Rifle.
Photo Courtesy of Washington Salute Twitter
For this partnership, Black Rifle came up with the Veteran Salute idea, where a veteran is selected, brought onto the field and recognized for their service during each WFT home game. “We said, what can we do that creates a lot of value, doesn’t cost the team much, and honors veterans?” Davin said.
Now that Black Rifle has its foot in the door, or stadium rather, what’s next?
“We’re learning. We’ll take what we learn here and look to develop other NFL deals in the near future,” said Davin. “This is about testing, learning, and increasing our ability to partner with people and organizations like the Washington Football Team.”
Targeted marketing, like what is available at FedEx Field, connects with our community in so many ways — from the banners around the stadium to the multiple kiosks and getting coffee in hands. This allows for lots of exposure points to consumers.
“The places where we’re building a ton of coffee shops, they’re where we’re looking,” Davin continued. “We’ll also be much smarter after season one and be able to reinforce what works. This has been a great test bed for what’s to come and a lot of culture building along the way.”