Bringing Bud Light’s NFL Sponsorship Full-Circle Strategically


In fall 2015, Bud Light renewed its NFL sponsorship through the 2022 Super Bowl. The sponsorship includes presenting rights of Thursday Night Football, the NFL Draft and NFL Kickoff as well as customized team cans.  It also extends further to the team side via watch parties.


Sponsorship Buddy's Take:

1) Anheuser-Busch InBev's Bud Light sponsorship strategy shifted dynamically, much like sponsorship in general has of late.  The focus used to be on hard, highly TV-visible assets to retail-driving experiences. Ownership of unique assets like those offered in its official NFL package helps address this objective.  Bud Light wants to be your top-of-mind beer choice for your all-American experiences - whether tailgating or on the couch and inbetween.  

Transactional sign-selling is a thing of the past.  Help align business objectives in a uniquely-customized package with exclusive, brand-associative assets that are all aligned and connected.

2) For this Thursday Night Football game, there is an official Jaguars and an official Titans watch party.  Extending out of the stadium back to retail with added value (mascot, player, owner appearances, concerts, giveaways, specials, etc.) helps bring this "experience build" full-circle by hitting on each purchase funnel location from advocacy to purchase.  Facebook event postings and press releases help drive traffic for these events.  Working hand-in-hand with the properties while not oversaturating the market can equate to mutually-beneficial relationships that drive sales and loyalty.

3) The NFL's "Color Rush" uniform initiative has aided in driving Thursday Night Football presented by Bud Light.  The feedback on the aesthetic appeal of the uniforms has largely been negative.  Regardless, for a league with the most stringent uniform enforcement, it works because it aligns with the strategy of building up these unique Thursday night events.  The NFL owns Sundays in America and although ratings are down, the uniforms are often jarring (or indecipherable for the colorblind), Thursday is now a very buzzworthy NFL night and unique NFL party with Bud Light front-and-center.   

Oh, and "every cent cent the NFL makes from the royalty of the Color Rush uniform sales at retail will be donated to the NFL Foundation, which funds youth health, safety and wellness programs. The first $500,000 will go toward replacing football equipment that youth and high school programs lost in the recent Louisiana flooding." Big points when a legit cause can be tied in.  

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