SBD/April 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

A-B Kicks Off NFL Sponsorship With "Best Round Ever" NFL Draft Promotion

Anheuser-Busch Friday kicked off its six-year sponsorship of the NFL "by pledging to spend millions more in a contest linked to this month's NFL Draft," according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. The "Best Round Ever" promotion will give a $10M grand prize to a fan "who can perfectly pick players selected in the first round" of the April 28 draft. A-B's deal with the NFL making Bud Light the league's official beer began Friday. The agreement "gives the brand the right to use NFL logos, including the highly recognizable shield," as well as the "collective use of all 32 team logos." Bud Light also is "seeking to drive consumers to its Facebook page with a sweepstakes in which fans can win a trip for two to the draft, while selling a commemorative NFL Draft-branded Bud Light aluminum bottle at bars." MillerCoors' Coors Light had the sponsorship since the '02 season, and the company "backed out because executives said they could no longer get a return on investment on the hefty price tag the league was seeking" (ADAGE.com, 4/1). A-B currently sponsors 28 of the 32 NFL teams, and A-B President David Peacock said the league sponsorship makes sense because it “allowed us to expand our NFL marketing about a third of industrial volume where we weren't leveraging it before because we were limited to 75-mile radius just around those teams that we sponsored." Peacock did not disclose terms of the agreement with the NFL, but he said there is “money that will come back overall in our NFL investment, and we have plans to re-invest if there isn't a season" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 4/1).
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