LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - New Mexico State is among a handful of NCAA schools with great school spirit, but you can bet they stand alone in terms of school spirits! With their latest entry into the adult beverage game, they are breaking ground.
The Aggies became the first university to officially license a brand of tequila on Thursday, partnering with Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) based-distillery Cantena Negra to sponsor the alcoholic beverage.
Founded over 40 years ago, Cantera Negra has only been available for sale in the United States since 2017. Cantera Negra is made in small-batch quantities from hand-selected blue agaves, which are grown to maturity in the valley regions of Jalisco, Mexico. Cantera Negra features four different varieties of tequila. The quartet of beverages all earned either bronze, silver or gold medal recognitions at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Along with tequila, New Mexico State has licensed beer, whiskey, and wine within the last year. Early indications are that the economic returns are positive.
"Even in a pandemic, our licensing company told me we had a 20% increase and that was historic," says Aggies' Athletic Director Mario Moccia.
Sales revenue from tequila sold in Las Cruces markets go in part to the athletic department, and Moccia is optimistic that will alleviate some of the lost income from the coronavirus pandemic.
"I firmly believe that in a year or two, this will be a $100,000 revenue stream for our department."
Through the partnership with New Mexico State, Cantera Negra will own the exclusive 'official tequila' designation during the 2021-22 athletic seasons and receive exposure through several digital campaigns.