May 19, 2020

Blue Moon comes to Canada—What does this mean for competitors?

Canada
Molson Coors
craft beer
Blue Moon
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3 min
Blue Moon comes to Canada—What does this mean for competitors?

After a particularly long day at the office, do you enjoy kicking back with a craft beer or two? If so, then good news: Molson Coors is giving you another brand to choose from—Blue Moon. The wheat beer officially hit shelves on August 15th, but you can also purchase the adult beverage at bars and restaurants under the name Belgian Moon.

But as we continue to learn more about this beer, the company behind it and the marketing techniques that have been employed, one question continues to come to mind: now that there’s a new choice in town, will competitors see a drop in sales?

RELATED TOPIC: Learn how Molson Coors is expanding beers in Canada—Should other breweries follow suit?

Interestingly enough, the brand (which originally launched in the mid 90s) has already come under criticism and may have a certain challenge to overcome before a profit can even be turned. And though the critique comes from the U.S. market, news can travel quite quickly to Canada.

Specifically, the brand has not made its link to MillerCoors LLC known on its packaging. Some believe that this is an attempt for a big brewer trying to pass off its products as a smaller-scale craft beer. Other brands, including Shock Top, have faced similar scrutiny.

The Brewers Association in the United States defines craft beer as having an “annual production of six million barrels or less, produced by a brewery that is less than one-quarter owned or controlled by another company in the alcoholic beverage industry that is not a craft brewer.” Industry groups in Canada pretty much have the same guidelines, too.

Overall, the consumption of beer is declining—kind of surprising, right? Craft breweries may not be dominating the market, but Molson Coors and Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. are still known for receiving a large amount of sales. But wine is now the new alcoholic beverage of choice, and breweries are attempting to keep up with new and changing appetites.

“Introducing this iconic brand to Canada is a significant milestone for both Molson Coors and our drinkers, whose tastebuds continue to evolve,” Six Pints General Manager Will Meijer commented.

Molson announced that this brand is the best-selling wheat beer in the United States, but will the same results be seen in Canada. It looks like time will tell.

However, consider Coke and Pepsi—two similar brands, and while one company may be earning more profits than the other, it’s been proven that there is a place in the market for both types of soda. So why can’t there be more than one type of beer?

One thing is for certain: people like to have choices, lots of choices! Therefore, while the beer option remains to be fresh and new, it will most likely sell quite well for a while. After time, it may even prove to hold its own against competitors. However, don’t look for Blue Moon or Belgian Moon to knock any other flavors or beer options off the shelves—not yet , anyway.

The new choice for craft beer will ultimately be just another adult beverage alternative—nothing more, nothing less.

RELATED TOPIC: Happy hour office etiquette for the modern businessman    

For the latest news in the food and drink industry, visit our sister brand Food, Drink & Franchise

[SOURCE: The Globe and Mail]

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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