Here's to 'Mr Jaegermeister', marketing trailblazer

Jaegermeister fans this weekend should raise a glass to a man who not only transformed a little-known tipple into a top-selling liqueur, but also pioneered football shirt sponsorship.

Guenter Mast, who died last week of heart failure aged 84, turned the herbal liqueur, a secret mixture of 56 different fruits, roots and herbs, from an acquired taste and a winter warmer for German hunters into a global phenomenon.

Its slightly medicinal tang, viscous texture and powerful kick has propelled the potent brown potion to number eight on the list of the top 100 spirits according to Impact International.

Last year, 85 million squat green bottles of the stuff were sold, doubtless leaving many times that number with sore heads.

Hailed in the German press as a "marketing genius", Jaegermeister's current boss, Paolo Dell'Antonio described Mast as "without question one of the top businessmen our country has ever produced."

Due in large part to Mast's innovative advertising flair, the firm went from a esmall liqueur manufacturer in the town of Wolfenbuettel in central Germany, to a global drinks giant present in more than 80 countries.

But he didn't just transform the company, he was also a trailblazer in the field of sports advertising.

Mast's masterstroke was in the invention of football shirt advertising. In 1973, he clinched what is widely accepted to be the world's first strip deal with his local club, Eintracht Braunschweig.

A good four years before such advertising kicked off in England, Eintracht Braunschweig were proudly sporting Jaegermeister's "stag's head with beaming cross" logo on their shirts, starting a trend that endures in most sports.

The German football league opposed the controversial move but other clubs followed suit and it rapidly became common practice. The club did, however, refuse Mast's wish to rename them "Eintracht Jaegermeister."

Mast himself described the sponsorship experiment as his "finest advertising gag" in 46 years at the firm but was not himself a massive football fan despite his indelible connection with the game's history.

"I know when the ball goes into the goal, but I couldn't explain the offside rule to you," he said in a press interview to mark his 80th birthday.

His other celebrated advertising campaign came in the form of a series of around 3,000 slogans beginning "I drink Jaegermeister because ...", posters of which became collectors' items in Germany and beyond.

The most infamous of these was one showing a pre-teen girl clutching a glass and the classic green bottle with the slogan "I drink Jaegermeister because ... my dealer has been banged up."

Mast left the firm in 1997 but his pioneering legacy lives on, said Jens Janetzki from marketing consultancy firm Team Vinco, which has studied Jaegermeister's advertising success.

"They have always been a very innovative company and they still are," said Janetzki, noting recent advertising campaigns in discos and gigs that have captured a new market.

"Jaegermeister has very skilfully turned itself from being a drink for old people to targeting a younger generation," Janetzki told AFP.

The drink has taken off especially in the United States, where it has overtaken Germany in terms of sales, according to the firm. Particularly popular are "Jaegermeister lounges", another successful advertising gimmick.

Often enjoyed with a mixer, downed neat or used as a "bomb" - in a shot glass submerged in another glass, often of beer - Jaegermeister has proved especially loved by students.

Mast, an ardent hunter - the name Jaegermeister in German means huntsman - leaves behind three children from his first marriage.

ric/stu/pvh

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
peopleJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice