April 2012

Sake Biz - The Sake "Bomber" Goes to MLB

Posted by Beau Timken in 2012, April, Newsletter
Now I am not the biggest fan of sake bombs as you all know (why don't they do chardonnay bombs?) but a buck is a buck and I found yet another way to get the True Sake brand out in the market. Several years back I approached Major League Baseball, The San Francisco Giants Organization, and a local sake brewery to pour sake - hot and cold - at Pac Bell Park. The True Sake Kiosk has done very well and we learned that sake does indeed pair well with garlic fries and hot dogs. And funnily enough on those incredibly cold summer foggy game nights here in SF sake almost always outsells Hot Chocolate.

I was thinking about ways to get sake out in the seats like the beer guys do. And at one game last summer it dawned on me that the best way to create a buzz was to "dumb down" (There I said it - as the owner I said it - wow is that a bad business guy or what) the concept of sake and take it to the "streets" in a manner of speaking.

Drum roll please! Ta Dah! The True Sake Bomber! Yes indeed, for the upcoming 2012 MLB baseball season Pac Bell Park will host the first flight of "Sake Bombers" in Major League Baseball as a pilot program for other stadiums and even other professional sports. So what will a "Sake Bomber" look like? First of all the outfits are awesome - part samurai, part vending person, and part bar tender! Because of licensing issues I cannot show you the ensembles yet, but I wore one for a trial run last week and it rocked. Did I look tacky - sure! Did I look cheesy - you bet! Did I denigrate sake - absolutely! Will I get paid - hopefully!

So picture a vendor who carries a beer tray. Now imagine those Starbucks coffee guys with the two coffee silos on their back packs that look like rocket boosters with pouring nozzles that dangle down like Camel Back water packs. That's us! That's a Sake Bomber! Beer up front and Sake on the back. The Sake Bomber walks up to a seat and fills a beer cup. He then offers the customer a two ounce plastic shot glass, which they take from his hands. He then pulls the sake nozzle and fills the sake glass. The consumer now has beer in one hand and sake in the other, and then commences to drop the sake plastic shot glass into the beer. And voila - A Sake Bomb! A sake bomb in your seat at the ballpark. Imagine rows of fans doing a "Bomb" whenever something exciting happens at the game.

We toyed with the idea of including a pair of chopsticks to do a true sake bomb, but they were too cumbersome and there was no real surface to put the cup down on to pound the surface that splits open the chopsticks and depth charges - kerplunk - the sake bomb! The beers will be the typical 12 oz variety, but as of yet we haven't selected the official beer of sake bombing. We have had so many amazing offers from Bud and Coors of course to Corona (really? Mexican beer - Japanese sake - American ballpark) and Sapporo/Asahi/Kirin. And yes believe me when I tell you that we have done a bevy of tastings to see which beer actually goes best with our sake. And as you can imagine there is the whole naming rights issue with beers and stadiums and leagues etc.

I know it may be beneath you good True Sake Newsletter reader but if you are out at the ballpark this summer think about getting "Bombed" Oh Yah! The Sake Bomber is coming down your aisle now!

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