Constellation Brands is charting a new sponsorship course.

The country’s third largest beer company has rolled out a new sponsorship strategy that seeks to align local ties with national marketing objectives.

Perhaps best known for wine and spirits, Constellation has significantly expanded its beer portfolio over the past few years. That includes the $4.75 billion acquisition of Grupo Modelo’s U.S. beer business from Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2013 and $1 billion acquisition of craft beer maker Ballast Point Brewing in 2015.

The Grupo Modelo acquisition added Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, Pacifico, Tsingtao and Victoria to Constellation’s brand portfolio.

Constellation has signed a handful of new deals as part of the new strategy. Ties include the Barclays Center, Live Nation (Electric Daisy Carnivals), Los Angeles Rams and, more recently, the Chicago White Sox and University of Texas athletics.

The strategy focuses on three key objectives:

  • Build brand awareness and consumer connections
  • Access sampling rights and new drinking occasions
  • Drive retail traffic and sales

The strategy is designed to give Constellation a consistent approach in how it evaluates and activates local sponsorships, said Rene Ramos, senior director of field marketing and sponsorships with Constellation’s beer division.

Prior to the new strategy, field marketing staffers largely used sponsorship to accomplish two objectives: access new sales channels and intellectual property.

“There wasn’t a specific framework in what we looked for and what we were trying to achieve. Now there is a consistent approach in how we look at properties and what we will consider.”

Ramos points to Corona’s partnership with Live Nation as an example of the strategy in action. The brand in 2016 signed a three-year tie to the live music giant that affords official beer status at six EDC festivals.

Constellation was drawn to the festivals for four primary reasons: The growing popularity of electronic dance music, the opportunity to drive consideration among legal drinking age millennials, the opportunity to align Corona’s “passport to enjoyment” positioning with a key drinking occasion; and the ability to activate the partnership via on- and off-premise text-to-win promotions (VIP experiences, ticket upgrades, etc.).

The company also has used the partnership to promote Corona Extra in cans, a “big initiative” for the company, said Ramos.

Constellation signs deals on behalf of both individual brands (Corona/EDC, Modelo/Chicago White Sox, etc.) and multiple brands. For example, the Barclays Center tie includes Corona Extra, Modelo Especial and Ballast Point, each of which receives a branded bar in the arena.

The multi-brand partnership ties into consumers’ growing expectations for multiple beer choices (domestic, craft, import, etc.) at sports and entertainment events, said Ramos.

“When a consumer goes to an event, they expect to get what they want.”

Ramos was promoted to his current position in April 2016 after working as field marketing director for Constellation’s West Coast territory. In that position, Ramos leveraged partnerships with Staples Center, The Forum and other sports and entertainment venues to access sales rights and sampling opportunities, a move that helped make Modelo the best-selling beer in the Los Angeles DMA.

“Many people consider Modelo a beer that you wouldn’t normally see at a sporting event. We want to put beer in consumers’ hands and drive memorable moments that help lead to purchase after an event.”

In addition to Los Angeles, other key Constellation markets include Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York City and the San Francisco bay area.