The Chattanooga Red Wolves are giving new meaning to team spirit with themed cocktail offerings during home games at CHI Memorial Stadium.
Last season the Red Wolves became known in their league, United Soccer League (USL) League One, as the "Cardiac Red Wolves" for "giving our fans heart attacks" after the team scored five or six goals within the last two to five minutes of several games, says Carlos Latapi, creative director of social media and marketing for the Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club.
Latapi was inspired by spiked lemonade pouches sold at a car race he attended in Nashville and wanted to create something similar to be sold at Red Wolves games. He asked fans on Twitter to vote on a name for the team's signature beverage — in the same way fans voted to name the team after the endangered canid species benefiting from local conservation efforts.
"Cardiac Punch" was the clear winner, and the stadium's food and beverage team set out to create a drink worthy of its heart-thumping name. The result was a vodka-based fruit punch in a fitting shade of red, sold in a pouch with a straw, similar to an adult Capri Sun. Being among the team's secret weapons, we unfortunately cannot reveal the recipe here.
"It's a great seller, and it's something that sets us apart since no one else has it," says Caroline McWhorter, president of Stadium Development Company, of the signature sipper.
Aside from the "Cardiac Punch," fans can have some more cheeky fun with their game-day drink orders by imbibing in one of the stadium's "mocktails" — which are not to be confused with nonalcoholic versions of cocktails, but rather drinks created for each home game to poke fun at the opposing team. For example the "One-Legged Bird" was offered during the match against the Forward Madison FC Flamingos.
"We have that for every single game," McWhorter says. "There's so much creativity here, and we just sit and brainstorm and come up with all kinds of stuff."