By James Atkinson

Coopers' new association with the V8 Supercars gives the brewer the chance to reinvent itself as a brand that has relevance for mainstream Australians, according to a top marketing executive.

This week's unveiling of Coopers as Official Beer Partner of the V8 Supercars surprised many, not least Andrew Condon, managing director of marketing agency M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment.

But Condon, who was in the sponsorship team at Lion when it entered the V8 Supercars with the XXXX Gold brand, told TheShout the deal has the potential to be a "really strategic and effective investment" for Coopers.

"I think it's probably not what a lot of people would have expected, but I don't think it's a misfit," he said.

"I think it's potentially a very savvy move for Coopers to be able to put their brand in front of all those people and drive re-appraisal of the Coopers trademark, in terms of relevance for mainstream Australia and not some 'boutique-y' craft beer."

Condon said Coopers' beers may be better suited to the V8 Supercars fanbase than people might think.

"You only have to look at the results of brewers over the last three or four years to know that mix of product is changing, whether we're blue, grey or white collar, we're all drinking a broader mix of brands, it's very much become occasion-based."

"I'm sure that Coopers are looking to tap into the V8 Supercars occasion to get fans to potentially reappraise or re-evaluate the Coopers brand as being relevant for them."

Condon, who counts V8 Supercars team sponsor Pepsi among his clients, says a lot of people underestimate the breadth of the sport's audience.

"Often people are misguided by what is perceived as the stereotypical V8 Supercar fan," he said.

"As a sport it's probably dismissed too easily by marketers."

Condon pointed out that in terms of interest and exposure the V8 Supercars is easily one of the top five or six sports in Australia.

"For the clients we're working with in V8s it's a very successful marketing platform," he said.

Coopers chairman Glenn Cooper, right with V8 Supercars CEO David Malone

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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