Modesto-based Gallo has been NFL’s official wine all season. This TV ad is part of the fun


E. & J. Gallo Winery took on a fan base that leans more toward beer when it became the official wine sponsor of the NFL.

The Modesto-based company nears the end of its first season with hope that football viewers will share its light-hearted approach to its products.

The launch has featured the Barefoot line of still, sparkling and fruit-infused wines. It is the top-selling brand among more than 80 offered by the world’s largest producer.

In one TV ad, a group of friends is addressed by a man in the style of a football coach giving a locker-room speech.

“Are we here to win and be immortalized by our victory?” he asks. “Or are we here to enjoy some crisp Barefoot Pinot Grigio? We’re here to do both!”

(If you look closely, the ad also shows an hors d’oeuvre tray that includes cheese in a spray can.)

The family-owned business did not disclose the cost of the campaign or data on how consumers have responded. It involves social media, store displays, marketing events and other venues through the Super Bowl. The sponsorship will run for multiple seasons, but Gallo declined to say just how many.

The campaign has coincided with another playoff run by the San Francisco 49ers, who will visit Philadelphia on Sunday in the NFC title game. The winner will face Kansas City or Cincinnati in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz.

Spoiler alert: Gallo will not have a commercial during the Super Bowl. Other companies have used that expensive time slot for memorable ads over the years. Gallo does plan to have signs around the stadium.

Chief Marketing Officer Stephanie Gallo talked about the foray into football in an interview last June. She said it fits with the goal of founders Ernest and Julio Gallo to “democratize” the wine industry.

Her late grandfather and great-uncle started the business in 1933. It now employs more than 7,000 people around the world, turning out bottles and boxes at a variety of prices.

The NFL campaign targets an estimated 191 million fans in the United States.

“We look forward to the NFC and AFC Championship games, followed by the Super Bowl, as fans cheer on their favorite teams,” Stephanie Gallo said by email Thursday. “After all, Barefoot is America’s favorite wine that pairs perfectly with any occasion, including America’s favorite sport.”