If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that isolation can be a blessing and a curse. While the prospect of staying indoors and out of sight may spark fear in the hearts of some, for Sydney Swans stars Will Hayward and Ollie Florent, the social cull gave them time to contemplate. A lingering question quietly brewed between the pair and like all great ideas, there were a few drinks involved. Putting their heads together, the AFL young guns hatched the idea for doozy, a low-calorie, low-sugar seltzer that embraces the lighter side to life.
“Ollie and I always loved to drink seltzers during our offseason because it was a good way to still let our hair down whilst not having to worry about putting on much weight or feeling bloated and unhealthy,” Will tells us. “We saw the growth the seltzer market was experiencing in America and when we thought of the idea in 2020 when we were in Perth in an AFL hub. We have always been interested in business ventures and saw an opportunity with Seltzers and were determined to follow through with it.”
Co-founding the business with Harry Hayward, the pair enlisted Digby Richards from branding specialist agency, Richards Rose, aiming to tackle the emerging seltzer category from a different angle. The alcoholic sparkling water kicked off this summer, debuting with a lime and mango flavour, with each clocking in at just 78 calories, 0.5 carbs and 4.2% ABV per can. For the two professional athletes, a lighter drink that didn’t impact the day-to-day routine was a non-negotiable, especially with the 2022 season just kicking off.
“This is definitely something we can drink and not feel as full as other drinks,” Will says. “It’s a much lighter way to enjoy alcohol without doing your body much of a disservice. Ollie and I have a really balanced lifestyle with AFL being our number one priority and doozy being our passion project.”
Impressively, the footy players aren’t taking a backseat with the new venture. While the recipes were developed by former CUB brewer Mick Jontef and produced with the award-winning Tribe Breweries out of Goulbourn, Hayward and Florent have confirmed that they will be personally managing a lot of the delivery and merchandising. It’s a tall order for the pair, but a long-term partnership has made the process a little easier. Reaching out to the Swans for support, the club was able to link them up with BoozeBud, signing a deal as the exclusive stockist.
“BoozeBud loved the brand and the taste and were keen to work with us,” Hayward says. “Using a term like ‘doozy’ just brings a smile, it’s an easy-going attitude. We have deliberately kept the brand mainstream with colours, identity and flavours instead of trying to be too cool or too trendy. Our long term plan is to see doozy in other drink categories where there is a craving for lighter style and more attitude.”
With the trials of the past two years (hopefully) behind them, the two Sydney Swans are turning their attention to the new AFL season. An open field has left premiership glory in the midst of anyone willing to grab it, and for Florent and Hayward, that means capitalising on a strong showing in 2021. A shock finals birth last year may have raised expectations for the young group, but if round one was anything to go by, 2022 might end up being a doozy of a year, for a whole host of different reasons. You can pick up a four-pack or a 24-pack of doozy seltzer exclusively via BoozeBud now, priced at $21.99 and $104.99, respectively.