As we slip further away from summer and the leaves start to change to a myriad of vibrant colours, baseball fans know that we are fast approaching the “Fall Classic”; the fabled World Series. Two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams put their entire season on the line to raise the World Series Trophy and have the right to sport custom championship rings.
This year, the 2019 World Series features a showdown between the Washington Nationals, in their first World Series appearance, battling it out with the Houston Astros for baseball’s most hallowed trophy.
But baseball isn’t baseball without beer! It would be impossible to go to a game and not see fans with ice cold beers occupying at least one hand.
As the Official Beer of Major League Baseball during the 2018 season, Coors Light wanted to do a special promotion to celebrate this annual event that grips the baseball world.
Beer Box Giveaway: World Series Rings
In 2015, Molson Canadian launched a promotion of giving away Stanley Cup rings in specially marked boxes of Molson Canadian. The 600,000 rings made were expected to last through the playoffs. However, the promotion was so well received that they sold out during Round 1.
After the resounding success, Molson-Coors decided to take the winning idea of the Stanley Cup promotion and bring it to baseball. Coors Light Canada became the Official Beer of the MLB and the opportunity to run a similar campaign came to life.
They teamed up with Genumark in December of 2017 and the work commenced immediately in order to make the August 2018 deadline.
The Goals and Challenges of Custom World Series Rings
For Coors Light Canada, this was set to be their biggest promotion of 2018 so this co-branded activation had to set the bar high. The concept was to have a World Series ring created for each team that had previously won a championship. With the Houston Astros winning in 2017, this resulted in 23 different teams that a ring would have to be created for (including one for Canada’s own – Toronto Blue Jays – winners in 1992 and 1993!).
There were 4 primary challenges that Genumark and Coors Light Canada faced:
- Determining the design concept of each ring, from the ring style, to the logos used.
- 1,000,000 (you read that right, 1 MILLION) rings needed to be produced.
- The quality and safety of the rings needed to be impeccable.
- These 1,000,000 rings needed to be ready for August of 2018.
The Process – Hard Work Equals Big Results
One of the most difficult tasks was deciding how the rings should look. With some back and forth, Coors Light, MLB, and Genumark decided on a uniform ring style with customized aspects. This allowed to have some parts of the ring moulds to be standardized and consistent. It then made it simpler to have teams approve the rings as there were fewer components up for scrutiny.
The MLB and Coors decided that they wanted to use the appropriate logo of each team from the year they had won their championship. As team logos often experience redesigns or slight alterations, there was also the difficult process of deciding which championship team would be used for teams that had won multiple championships. In the end, MLB and Coors Light Canada narrowed it down to what they felt were the most iconic winning teams. For the Toronto Blue Jays, they chose the ‘93 World Series team and its logo, even though it was their second championship. The memory of Joe Carter’s winning home run still lingers with fans, young and old, today, marking it as the Jays most distinctive World Series win.
While each ring had the same size, frame, and slots for decoration, they were still personalized to the team’s colours in the jewels and the engraving on the sides. Each ring has the year the team won on one side and the second side features the name of the opposing team and the number of games played in that World Series.
Genumark sourced a factory that had experience in custom rings and, more importantly, one that would agree to all the rigorous third-party quality and safety testing that we required. For each ring, multiple proofs were created and approved by Coors, the MLB and its teams, with even more production samples being created throughout the various stages of production. This was needed to ensure consistency and quality throughout the production process.
After the packaging design went through similar production testing, all that was left was to ensure proper shipment of the rings. Genumark had to ensure that the rings were shipped with each team ring having an equal chance of being opened anywhere in the country. After that, it was up to fans to drink their bottles of Coors Light (responsibly!).
The Result – Memorabilia Worth Popping a Bottle of Championship Champagne
The World Series Championship Rings giveaway was an enormous success for Coors Light Canada. Fans bought and consumed (again responsibly) their Coors Light to get to a small package that contained a ring of a fabled MLB winning team. Each ring, emblazoned with the logo of a World Series Champion surrounded by jewels matching their team colours, came out flawless.
For Coors Light Canada and Molson-Coors, the promotion is now considered a benchmark, where future large promotions need to meet or exceed the excitement that was felt during this campaign. The rings themselves have made their way to the collectible memorabilia market where they can sell for as much, or more, as the box of Coors Light that they had originally been discovered in.