Bud Light Delivers Beer to Sports Fans

After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all professional sports in the U.S. for months, Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light was ready to help fans celebrate when Major League Baseball returned in July.

Working with FCB/RED, the beer brand launched a “Return to Sports” campaign with the promise, “When there’s a game on, there’s a Bud Light there.” The effort kicked off July 21 with a TV spot depicting sports fans preparing to watch games at home with a Bud Light in hand. “The insight that the beer vendor is one of the most beloved figures in sports” drove the brand to spotlight the stadium drink hawker in a series of TV and radio spots and social media posts that drove consumers to,” explains a Bud Light spokesperson.

The new e-commerce platform allows shoppers to order various Bud Light SKUs shipped to their homes via more than a dozen retailers and delivery services including Amazon, Kroger, Meijer, Instacart and Drizly. The program was meant to take advantage of the increase in e-commerce activity driven by the pandemic while giving fans “the feeling of getting a Bud Light brought right to their seat while they enjoy the game,” the spokesperson says.

The campaign also included a #BudLightHomers sweepstakes meant to replicate the excitement fans feel from catching a home run ball even though they couldn’t be in the stadium. Consumers entered from July 23-31 by sharing the hashtag on Twitter and tagging their favorite MLB team. Two winners for each team received a home run baseball in a branded display case. Twitter updates promoted the sweeps. Southfield, Michigan-based Merkle handled.

“Bud Light is always aiming to connect to authentic fan celebration moments, and while these moments will look a little different [these days], it’s our job to ensure that fans can be fans – even at home – all while enjoying a Bud Light,” the spokesperson says.

Aside from emphasizing its connection to sports, Bud Light is also focusing on its entry into the fast-growing hard seltzer category. Bud Light Seltzer launched in January and has already achieved an 11% share of the category, making it the largest innovation in the industry this year to date, according to IRI data.

That success led Bud Light to launch three new flavors (cranberry, pineapple and grapefruit) on Aug. 31 in a Bud Light Seltzer Remix variety pack that also contains the original strawberry flavor. The new SKUs, which are made with cane sugar and natural fruit flavors, were announced on Aug. 26 via a sponsored Twitter update from DJ Khaled. The musician and producer was also part of the April 25 Drafterparty, a virtual event and concert hosted on Bud Light Seltzer’s YouTube page following the National Football League draft. The brand is the official seltzer sponsor of the NFL. Radio spots promoting the variety pack tied in to the Sept. 7 observance of Labor Day.

Elsewhere, the continued success of the Bud Light Platinum SKU the brand launched in 2012 as a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) alternative to its flagship beer inspired another innovation. Bud Light Platinum Seltzer is 8% ABV compared to the 5% in Bud Light’s other seltzers and is sweetened with agave. The line comes in three flavors – citrus, wild berry and blood orange – that also hit stores on Aug. 31.