Sorbabes sorbet is partnering with music festivals, tastemaker events and other properties to support its national growth ambitions.

The gourmet sorbet has thus far has signed deals in two growth markets: Denver and New York City. Ties include Denver Flea, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival and Après Wednesdays at New York City’s Brookfield Place.

The brand has not yet signed any deals in Portland, Ore., its third growth market.

Sorbabes was launched in 2013 by Nicole Cardone, a finance professional, and Deborah Gorman, a chef. The co-founders sold the product at farmer’s markets and specialty food stores in New York City before expanding distribution to mass-market retailers and other stores throughout the U.S.

The co-founders sold licensing rights to Wells Enterprises, Inc. in late 2016. The two retain ownership of the Sorbabes brand.

Sorbabes is using sponsorship to accomplish two primary objectives: raise awareness and sample product.

“We’re a new brand, and we need to get people to know Sorbabes,” said Pamela Tucker, the company's head of East Coast marketing and sales.

The marketing vet focuses on Millennial-centric events that provide consumer engagement opportunities over a several month period.  The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, for example, draws roughly 200,000 consumers to some 30 mostly free performances over ten weeks of summer.

The sponsorship affords both sampling and sales rights. Sorbabes activates the partnership with Car2go, which gives sorbet to consumers who sign up for its car share service (see sidebar).

Wells Enterprises Stirs Up Sponsorships Outside The Big Apple
Wells Enterprises spearheads sponsorships outside New York City, with a focus on Denver and Portland, Ore.

The company in June secured a sponsorship of Denver Flea, a “curated showcase of Colorado makers, cocktails and craft beer in a seasonal pop-up location.”

Wells activated the sponsorship with a specially-created sorbet/coffee drink developed by Cardone, Gorman and a local coffee retailer. The company used the beverage—and Sorbabe’s Denver launch—as a hook for media and blogger coverage.

“It was a good opportunity. Not only did we have a presence at Denver Flea, but we received coverage from the local media,” said Liz Croston, Wells Enterprises senior manager of brand communications.

And additional deals in Denver and Portland may be in store.

“Sponsorship is an effective tactic in getting product into peoples’ hands, and we definitely see sponsorships like Denver Flea in the future.”

Northbrook, Ill.-based Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide spearheads sponsorship on behalf of Wells Enterprises.

Other Wells Enterprises’ brands include Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classic, Bomb Pop and Weight Watchers frozen novelties.