Tequila Aficionado Media Goes to the Ballpark With Camarena Tequila

A lone bunting flaps in the offshore breeze at Anaheim Stadium.Camarena was just a rookie in 2010, but made a huge splash as a Big League tequila prospect when it appeared on the streets of Los Angeles in the form of (are you ready for this?) a taco truck!

In those days, liquor sampling was against the law in California.  So, how does a start up brand gain traction in the largest tequila market in the US?

It jumped on the popularity of these guerilla dining establishments on six wheels and dispensed free tacos infused with Camarena tequila from Santa Monica to the Sunset Strip throughout the summer.

The Camarena Tequila Taco Truck appears in Los Angeles.

The Camarena Tequila Taco Truck appears in Los Angeles.

Shrewdly using Facebook and Twitter, it boldly announced when and where the truck would appear.  Usually, the locations were very near where hungry and thirsty patrons could purchase bottles of Camarena tequila.

A brilliant campaign, but later that year Camarena became the breakout brand no one expected.

It signed sponsorship deals with the Chivas USA soccer club, then the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and New Orleans Saints of the NFL.  What seemed like only moments later, it secured partnerships with NBA venues for the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic.

If that wasn’t enough, the following year, it wrapped up agreements with the Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, and here at Anaheim Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

By design, with the element of surprise, Camarena Tequila had scored agreements in the most visible markets in sports and in the regions where the most tequila is consumed in the US.

Again, a brilliant game plan that lead to Camarena’s triple digit growth in a very short time.

In 2013, Camarena has paired down its sports sponsorships in Major League Baseball to concentrate on solidifying strategic alliances with five clubs.  Two of them, the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies, have dedicated Camarena Tequila themed bars with specialty cocktails and food inside their stadiums.

Some of the invitees to the Step Up to the Plate event had filtered out onto the patio with plates of fresh tacos and ceviche.  That was my cue to get some food before the stadium tour started.

The Designated Hitter

As I wandered back into the Diamond Club, I ran into a bearded and lanky young man who nervously paced back and forth talking to himself and looking at index cards like a batter trying to remember how the opposing team had pitched to him last season.  He was Camarena Tequila’s hired gun for the evening, mixologist Joel Black, who would teach the rest of us how to expertly mix amazing Camarena cocktails.

Joel Black is no ordinary bartender.  This journeyman mixologist not only has over ten years in the Big Leagues under his belt, but he is also a partner in Black LAB Ventures, a mixology catering and consulting firm servicing Southern California’s  top restaurants, bars, brands, and events.  His latest project is the newly opened Tinga in Santa Monica.

The Line Up

While the idea of the taco truck is still fun, there’s nothing like being served fresh shrimp ceviche inside the comfort of the Angel’s Stadium Diamond Club.  Along with white fish, tomato, red onion, avocado, crisp cilantro and freshly cut jalapeños, this called for a sip of Camarena blanco tequila.

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M.A. “Mike” Morales is the CEO of Tequila Aficionado Media and America’s premier tequila journalist, blogging and reporting exclusively on the trends, producers, insiders, and hottest brands in the tequila industry today.