Jonny Walker On The Rocks

Next time, the MetroStars might want to find a player named Capri Sun. Or maybe there’s a Brazilian out there named Snickers.

When Major League Soccer’s New York franchise signed Jonny Walker last summer as its new goalkeeper, it seemed like marketing synergy of the highest order—the whiskey brand Johnnie Walker had, coincidentally, signed on as a Metro sponsor the year before.

The added value for the sponsor was immediate, as fans quickly worked out “Red label!,” “Black label!” and “Blue label!” chants to rate Walker’s saves—something the 29-year-old got used to during his long career in the Chilean soccer league. “I was pretty much rated in the papers on the grade of scotch,” he tells “So, depending on how well I play, the fans can choose the color.”

Metro execs looked into doing some sort of initiative themselves to take advantage of the situation, but it was difficult to do so with a liquor brand. “We’re a very family-oriented brand for a large subset of our audience, so it does make it a little challenging,” John Guppy, the team’s executive vice president, tells Shoptalk. “The fans have some fun with it, but we haven’t done anything ourselves.”

In other words, don’t expect a bottle of booze in your McFamily Ticket Pack. “That’s an interesting thought,” laughs Guppy, “but no, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”