Partners of Our Pack: Q&A with Cintron World CEO Victor Edozien
The Coyotes recently finalized a multi-year agreement with the Cintron World beverage company, as the official energy drink partner of the Arizona Coyotes.
Cintron World's mission is to provide the global multicultural consumer with a line of premium branded beverages that meet their functional and lifestyle needs. Cintron accomplishes this by producing a line of energy beverages, premium bottled waters, and revitalizer shots that revive, replenish and restore the health and wellness of its consumers wherever they chose to live, work and play. The Cintron "aspirational" brand image of diversity, equity, and inclusion encourages everyone to look good, feel great, and live a fashionable, productive, and healthy lifestyle.
The company prides itself on producing a range of beverage products, such as the Cintron Sparkling Energy Beverages featured through the partnership with the Coyotes, which is differentiated within the energy drink category because it inspires style and sophistication. These beverages also have exciting flavors, great taste, and are made with the following product attributes: natural ingredients, Vitamin B-complex, gluten-free, no preservatives, no aspartame and no high fructose corn syrup.
Victor Edozien is the CEO of Cintron World. He is a Nigerian-American entrepreneur who was born and grew up in Newark, New Jersey, attended Syracuse University. He is also a U.S. Army veteran.
Mr. Edozien states, "Our goal has always been to build a beverage brand that truly is clean and refreshing, and also has beautiful packaging. That was the initial launch of this idea called Cintron."
In this "Partners of Our Pack" feature, our team discusses with Mr. Edozien the company's newly established relationship with the Coyotes.
What led up to Cintron World partnering with the Coyotes?
"As a 'challenger brand' in the energy category, we've always had the desire to find a partner who will instantly bring us, what I call, brand validation. So, that's the umbrella strategic theme. While we searched for the right partner, we were introduced to a gentleman by the name of Jared Kozinn (Coyotes Executive Vice President, Corporate & Premium Partnerships). He strategically understood that I was looking for a partnership that would help give Cintron brand validation to its very targeted audience. When Jared got to Arizona, he saw a whitespace and an opening for our brand and he reached out to me. The moment I got the first call from him, I knew instantly that this was the right partnership."
What are you anticipating most in your partnership with the Coyotes?
"The Coyotes have given us a platform where, by association, we have become instantly relevant to the customer base of hockey. Now, how do we translate that into brand recognition and into consumption, as well as what I call brand affiliation, after a period of time? This for me, at a core business level, is how we will define our value creation model. I hope for us as a brand that in of itself is a fresh new perspective. We are a multicultural owned company, a minority owned company, and we also bring that level of diversity, inclusion and equity to which Xavier has always talked about since he became President and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes. When we're looking at the Phoenix market -- and the Cintron name linked to Hispanic heritage -- I truly want us to become one of those beacons of light in professional sports, whereby people are talking about the Coyotes and how they partnered with Cintron, and also look at the new fans that they have brought into the fold. The Coyotes, because of their relationship with Cintron, is embarking on a new demographic that they have attracted to the sport of hockey. This will be a true win-win for everyone here: Coyotes and the Cintron team alike!"
"Also for us, our value definition has always been: after a year, we want to truly be able to measure and see ourselves as, 'In Phoenix, people know us as Cintron, which is associated with the Coyotes.' They know the Cintron brand. They are aware of our brand and product lines. And, they recognize the lifestyle of the Cintron brand. If we can measure how many Cintron Coyote Cocktails are producing sales results in Game 1 versus Game 28, then you can see the growth in consumption versus brand affinity, that's how I would truly measure the value of this partnership for us."
You have shared with the team that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives are important to Cintron World. Can you speak on what it means to see the Coyotes and NHL highlighting various causes including: Hispanic Heritage Month, Hockey is for Everyone, Black History Month, and the growth of Women in Hockey?
"Philosophically, I have always said that when you open up the door to more ideas and people, we will get the best outcomes and solutions for everyone, every time. Being inclusive is not costly. In the long run, it is actually value enhancing to all stakeholders, players and all partnerships. So, when I think about initiatives, such as getting more women and girls participating in hockey, as well as getting more Latinos and African Americans into hockey -- we, as a group, can broaden our ecosystem by being a lot more inclusive. I truly think the timing is just right for everyone, being greatly inclusive in the game of hockey. In all reality, diversity and inclusion is great for business, and more importantly, it references the values that we embody as an organization and ultimately, as a country. That's what truly makes America the greatest nation: it's a mosaic of different people and different ideas coming together in order to truly create results that are beyond anyone's imagination. So, that's the way I think about it around the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion.
"In any of my organizations, it's an eclectic mix of people, ideas and implementation strategies. It's not because I like the colors of a mosaic, rather it's because I understand and have witnessed the power of the diversity of ideas and perspectives resulting in the most beneficial outcomes. Recently I was listening to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith talk about the Tampa Bay (Buccaneers) Super Bowl wining coaching staff. He said, 'What people don't understand is there's Bruce Arians at the top, there are two coordinators who are Black, there are 10 Black assistant coaches, and also there are two Women assistant coaches.' That is the mosaic that brought about the winning formula and enabled a football team led by Tom Brady to win his seventh super-bowl championship title. I think that the story is an extremely compelling one, in which some day soon we will be able to say that the Coyotes and Cintron partnership is an exemplary one. The steps necessary to build a multicultural, diverse business model that not only make the franchise very successful, but also brings it a lot of diversity and more people to the game. Girls hockey, as well as Latino and African-American participation in the game of hockey, is what I believe will build the value of the franchise in the long run, as well as a tremendous benefit to the community of fans."
A program you will be activating with the Coyotes this season is geared toward recognizing Hockey Mothers. Can you share Cintron's approach with this "Hockey Mom of the Month" program? "For Cintron all along, we have designed our branding around women. When you think about a Hockey Mother: she's plays a central role in supporting the sport and as a woman is juggling a lot. She's a master of time-management, multi-tasking, burning the candles at both ends and offers a lot of self sacrifice for her kids. She juggles the home, but also she still has to get her kids to the ice rink, into hockey practice and youth development. She embodies the key values of what Cintron as a brand should honor: the power of Mothers in our society. For Cintron, we believe in celebrating an exemplary Hockey Mother every month. Cintron is dedicated to putting our resources into a segment that we truly believe is highlighting the Hockey Mom whom embodies the values that we have talked about."
What do you want the Coyotes corporate and premium partners to know about Cintron World?
"We consider ourselves to be a 'challenger brand' that questions existing mental models and traditional business methods. We look at growing our business very differently and very creatively. We always want to question the status quo of traditional business models and deliver superior value to our customers and stakeholders. Also for us, it's all about being innovative, thinking differently, questioning existing mindsets and being inclusive. As a lifestyle beverage brand, that's what our company prides itself on, it's our brand DNA, and it's our heritage story as well as what we're currently all about. From other corporate partners, we absolutely don't want the perception to be, 'Oh, Cintron is just another consumer branded company or energy drink brand.' No, we are very much differentiated. If you look at any of our Cintron beverages, you can see the difference in both our packaging and formulation design. With our premium bottled water product line, we actually designed and trademarked our own hexagon bottle and overcap inclusive of our embossed crown design. That's the level of detail, creativity and innovation in which we believe in our brand vision and product lines. We start from a very clean, creative sheet every time. Therefore, questioning existing mental and business models has truly been at the heart of how we run our business. We question the idea every time that there is wisdom in crowds and try to avoid group-think at all costs. That's the idea for us as a small, challenger and young brand: it's what we embody. In conclusion, if you are looking for a creative, stylish, and innovative brand to partner with and grow with, we, at Cintron World, are open and always seeking to create value for everyone."