There are certain things that I never thought I’d live to see. Near the top HAS to be a private university, founded by The Southern Baptist Convention in the 19th century, launching its own bourbon brand. Full disclosure, I graduated from “a joint like this.” When I was at Baylor University, DANCING wasn’t even allowed on campus. Well, to say Furman University has put dancing in the rear-view mirror is an understatement. Furman University has its own bourbon.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. “FU All The Time” (how GREAT is that name-btw) is the new bourbon brand launched by Furman University. Wait, you didn’t know that’s what the “FU” on the label stood for? Shame on you. <g>
“FU All The Time” was unveiled at the launch party for the “Clearly Furman” campaign on Saturday night. Its goal is to raise an ambitious $426 million by 2026 (the institution’s bicentennial). I would have LOVED to hear the audible gasps in the room when this announcement was made. More so, I would have PAID to have been in the initial pitch meeting for this. Don’t get me wrong, this is a BRILLIANT idea. However, I know the types that sit on the trustee boards of schools like Furman. There’s no way this concept was met with immediate and universal enthusiasm.
Elizabeth Lichtenberg is the senior director of brand strategy and visual communications for Greenville, South Carolina university. According to her, this whole thing came together quickly. The initial pitch was made last year. Soon thereafter, Furman moved forward with the partnership of Ironclad Distillery in Newport News, Virginia. And voila, this Furman branded bourbon was born.
According to a university press release, Lichtenberg states, “We thought FU All the Time bourbon would be popular, and it was a huge hit. Everyone loved it. It felt good to be able to offer the Furman Family something new and unique that they can enjoy and take some pride in, and give them a new way to toast and celebrate Furman. We expect this new product to be a favorite for a long time.”
Think this won’t be a HUGE fundraiser? Bottle collectors alone will be tripping over themselves to get some of this. As someone who has worked in and on the periphery of the marketing business for years, I’m dying to write some commercial copy for “FU All The Time.” I’m a snickering middle school boy just thinking about it.