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Volume 22 No. 32
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Busch beer pops the top on a major promotion that will send 500 fans to Daytona

Busch is pouring it on for next year’s Daytona 500.

Encouraged by strong sales bolstered by its move back to the Busch brand in NASCAR, Anheuser-Busch InBev will launch a massive 2018 Daytona 500 marketing campaign that will be its largest in years.

A-B, which switched back to the Busch brand in NASCAR in 2016 after a run promoting Budweiser, has created the “500 to the 500” campaign that will see 250 fans win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 60th running of NASCAR’s biggest race on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

The campaign will include a retail call-to-action component with special race packaging and social media tie-ins. Each winner will be able to bring one guest, meaning Busch is sending 500 fans to the race overall. Busch will launch the activation this week.

Chelsea Phillips, A-B’s vice president of value and near-beer brands, said that A-B embarked on the venture in part because the company is pleased with Busch beer sales overall and in NASCAR race markets this year. In Daytona Beach, A-B’s entire value brand portfolio is up over last year, with most of the growth coming from the Busch family of beers, according to Information Resources Inc. data cited by A-B.

“We made a splash this year with the new packaging and Super Bowl ad, and it was kind of like, ‘How do we top ourselves?’ We wanted to really say thank you to our loyal drinkers with all of the support we’ve seen this year, so we decided we want to invest that money into this unforgettable Daytona 500 experience,” Phillips said.

A-B will roll out Daytona 500-themed packaging nationwide, with 30,000 cans featuring a checkered flag pattern and next year’s race logo. To earn the chance to win one of the 250 trips to Daytona, those fans who get one of the checkered flag cans are encouraged to take a photo or video while acting like they are celebrating a race win in victory lane. The fans need to share the photo or video on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat with a #BuschToDaytona hashtag. A-B will then select the best entrants.

A-B also will be activating at the track around the Daytona 500, will again have a branding “takeover” of a hotel in Daytona, and will have a traditional media buy around NASCAR. A-B will run its overarching Busch Guy ads for TV, while Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick will appear in digital and social media content. Harvick, whose car is sponsored by A-B, will also conduct a meet-and-greet with the contest winners.