Proper Twelve, McGregor's Whiskey, May Need to Change Name
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Conor McGregor may be Forced to Change Name of Proper Twelve Whiskey

Proper Twelve

Conor McGregor holds up a cup of his Notorious-branded Irish whiskey as he speaks during a news conference following his 10th-round TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor’s Proper Twelve whiskey brand might have to change its name. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Infamous MMA fighter Conor McGregor’s successful brand of Irish whiskey, Proper Twelve, may have to change its name due to the concern that the presence of the number 12 in the name could lead to confusion about the whiskey’s age.

The Irish Whiskey Association recently proposed changes to the Department of Agriculture. One of the propositions included a suggestion that “the labelling, packaging, advertising, or promotion of an Irish Whiskey must not include a reference to any number (however expressed) if the reference to that number may create a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public as to whether the number relates to the maturation period of the Irish Whiskey, its age or when it was distilled.”

The proposition is intended to protect consumers from being misled. This change would clearly apply to the name of McGregor’s whiskey, which he has said he chose as a reference to the postcode of his hometown of Crumlin, Dublin. Proper 12 is aged nowhere near 12 years, which the new labeling law would consider it to be suggesting.

McGregor launched his whiskey brand in 2018, and it quickly became one of the world’s most popular Irish whiskey brands. In April McGregor sold his shares in the company in a $600 million deal.

Still, McGregor stayed on with the company.

If Proper Twelve does have to rebrand, it will be interesting to see how it affects the brand. Having to change the name of a brand is a huge blow to any company, as companies build their brands around their names, and losing that name can cost a ton of brand recognition. Furthermore, pivoting marketing and promotional design, materials, and IP only adds to the expense.

However, given that McGregor is still affiliated with the company and is such a major, outspoken star, it’s hard to see his whiskey brand struggling too much. Having a mega-celebrity invested in a brand makes marketing incredibly easy.

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