The Flack

Which Soft Drink is Your Footy Club?

Posted May 22, 2013 by Ares in Sport

These days, marketing is all about values, product placements and brand affinities.

Plucked and solariumed marketers wearing their going-out clothes to work are constantly searching for the next brand affinity with all the fervour of a German tourist hunting for the last poolside sun lounge at a Bali hotel.

Conscious of marketers’ tight jeans and uncomfortable shoes, we at The Flack have done some of the legwork for them, identifying the great undiscovered brand affinities of our era: footy clubs and soft drinks.


Adelaide – Farmers Union Ice Coffee

With Coopers Pale Ale, Balfours pies and pasties, Fruchocs and fritz – Farmers Union Iced Coffee forms the big five of Adelaide culinary excellence. Just like Tex Walker, if any of these products plied their trade in Victoria, they would be elevated to Pantheon status. As they travel to all corners of our great brown land through a footy season, the Crows could do much to spread the Farmers Union gospel.

Brisbane – Vanilla Coke

Vanilla Coke was marketed in Australia in 2002, right in the middle of the Brisbane Lions’ premiership three-peat. At first people were curious. Some were even mildly taken by both concoctions. Then they started to make us feel sick. Eventually, they faded from view. There are considerable doubts that either will ever return to any form of prominence in Australia.

Carlton – Limonata, Crodino, Chinotto

For all those flogs who sit around in Italian cafes on Lygon Street busting out their best faux Italian accent to order crappy soft Euro drinks in tiny bottles, here’s a brand affinity you cannot resist. To those other Carlton fans who are decent people, I’m sorry, but those flogs are ruining it for everyone. Ciao!

Collingwood – Coca Cola

They are the biggest brands in their respective industries, marketed to within an inch of their lives. They have all the money and all the privilege. The both also have deep and enduring relationships with bourbon. Both claim to have miraculous healing properties, but will eventually rot your teeth.

Essendon – Vitamin Water

Not without their brand challenges, Essendon and Vitamin Water both positioned themselves as pure and full of goodness. However, further investigation has revealed a shocking truth. In hindsight, the bright colours of Vitamin Water should have been a dead giveaway that it was not a health drink. In fact, here’s a challenge: line up unmarked bottles of Vitamin Water and Essendon player urine samples and try to spot the difference.

Fitzroy – Tab

At one time had sizeable followings, now discontinued.

Fremantle – Cherry Coke

Well, if Ross Lyon is hell bent on killing Australian Rules Football, he may as well try to bring down Coca-Cola as well. Putrid.

Geelong – Fanta

Barry Stoneham, Tim McGrath, Cameron Ling, Neville Bruns, Damian Bourke, Marc Woolnough, Adrian Hickmont, Darren Forssman – Geelong’s love affair over time with footballing Fanta-Pants makes this a strategic marketing partnership that would bring a tear to the coked-up eye of any brand genius.

Gold Coast – Red Bull

Take a moment to think of how many cans of Red Bull are consumed on the Gold Coast during schoolies. Staggering. Truly staggering.

Greater Western Sydney – Soda Stream

Both sound good in theory, but will ultimately prove to be testament to our capacity to dream – and to have those dreams destroyed by reality. A never-ending supply of soft drinks? A never-ending supply of new AFL fans? Not in this lifetime, champ.

Hawthorn – Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Both tout themselves as family enterprises and appear to have been landed with the horrific brown and yellow colour combination by choice. They deserve each other. The colour blind leading the colour blind.

Melbourne – Sarsaparilla

Big in the 1960s, now considered largely unpalatable and beyond redemption.

North Melbourne – Solo

Both brands hope against hope that their ultra-macho images will compensate for their general irrelevance.

Port Adelaide – LA Ice Cola

I would say Pepsi, because both Port and Pepsi see themselves their rightful position ahead of Collingwood and Coke respectively. But Pepsi is just too rich to be Port. LA Ice Cola is a better fit – it screams social disadvantage. LA Ice Cola sells for less than half the price of its rivals. Port gets half the crowd of its main rival.

Richmond – Passiona

Enormous in the ’70s and ’80s. People couldn’t get enough of either. Marketers believe there are masses of latent support for Passiona out there just waiting to stir at the first sign of resurgence. For the past 15 years running, industry judges have ranked Passiona the ninth most popular soft drink in Australia.

Saint Kilda – Midori

Is Midori a soft drink? It has been the most-poured drink by St Kilda players for the last two decades.

Sydney – Sprite

Consistent, under the radar, get the job done – Sydney and Sprite are made for each other. Sprite originally entered the market to knock off a rival brand, and now occupies the number-one position of all lemonades. The Swans have won over the Harbour City and regularly draw crowds bigger than those that attend NRL games. Time for Sprite to kick off a No Dickheads promotion.

West Coast – West Coast Cooler

Okay, not a soft drink, but this partnership is irresistible: like Cox and Natanui, or Kerr and taxis.

Western Bulldogs – Cottees

Unable to afford bubbles or flavours, the Doggies originally sign up tap water for their drink partnership. AFL intervenes and in equalisation arrangements forces a partnership with Cottees cordial.



About the Author


Born about 6000 years ago, around the time Creationism tells us the Earth and Universe were made, Ares is just one offspring resulting from Zeus's extensive philandering - in this instance to the Queen of the Gods, Hera. Ares is a disputed member of the 12 Olympians who conquered the Titans under Zeus's leadership before going on to establish the modern Olympic Games. They also set in train a range of cultural practices that led to the modern Eurozone crisis. He was hated by all other gods, except the super-hot Aphrodite, with whom he was once caught in flagrante delicto. Throughout history, fellow God of War Athena was viewed as a well respected protector of cities and strategic genius. Ares is not. He is regarded as a bit player in history whose underwhelming acts are variously either overshadowed by the deeds of other gods, or punctuated by bouts of extreme violence and bloodshed. After thousands of years of disputed residence in the Pantheon of Gods, Ares followed the example of many Greeks emigrating to Australia and took up residence in a small row cottage in North Melbourne. He lives with an Anglo wife who does not cook and a son who does not look Greek. He changed football teams in adulthood, doesn't know what Apple TV is and plays suburban hockey to a mediocre standard.