A spirited performance as Chivas Brothers face Pernod Ricard China in International Football Friendly
World-leading Scotch whisky producer, Chivas Brothers yesterday battled it out on the football pitch with sister company Pernod Ricard China in what was arguably the second most important tournament of the summer.
Teams from the two businesses went head to head at Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC’s Stadium, overseen by none other than Douglas Ross MP – an accomplished referee who has previously officiated in the Scottish Cup Final and Champions League.
With 44 footballers making up four teams, the players came from all areas of the business – from warehouse operations to marketers and distillers to site engineers. The chance to play on a Scottish Premiership pitch fired up both teams, with 10 goals scored in four games, in what was a fun and relaxed afternoon. The final score was a draw, with Team Scotland presenting its guests with the coveted tournament trophy.
The match was an important part of an itinerary of activities arranged as more than 750 Chinese guests from Pernod Ricard China visited Scotland for an immersive Scotch whisky experience. The visitors have also enjoyed several Speyside distillery tours, internal conferences and a traditional Highland dinner, all designed to build an even stronger working relationship between the two affiliates.
Alex Robertson, Whisky Ambassador and Education Manager at Chivas Brothers, said: “Scotland and China unfortunately didn’t qualify for the World Cup, and so we took matters in our own hands by organising a friendly tournament during our guests’ stay. I would like to thank Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. for hosting us at their club.
“Over the last few days we’ve had a wonderful time entertaining our colleagues and showing them everything that Scotland has to offer. The trip has been hugely rewarding for both parties and has helped cement our already strong working relationship, something we’ll continue to benefit from long into the future.”
Douglas Ross, MP for Moray and referee of the match, said: “I was delighted to referee yesterday’s tournament, all teams were very sporting and seemed to have a lot of fun – what better way to build bonds across the business than play in a few friendlies? It has been encouraging to welcome such a large delegation of guests to our country and this visit is testimony to the global nature of the Scotch whisky industry and its significance to the Scottish economy.”
Team Scotland member Graeme Gardiner said: “The match was certainly very spirited, and it was great fun for everyone involved – it’s not every day you get to play a friendly international at a Scottish Championship Club! Football may not have come home for England, but today the spirit of the game was certainly alive in Scotland!”