- Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev announced a robust college football strategy ahead of the 2023 season, with Bud Light at the center of its efforts, according to a press release.
- Bud Light will expand the roster of limited-edition team cans, along with a series of activations meant to celebrate the return of the sport. This includes a Backyard Tour, where select college towns will be treated to cold beer and DJ performances before a game. The first tour date was Sept. 1.
- Concurrently, AB InBev, Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are expanding their collaborative “Decide to Ride” campaign that was initially launched in 2021 to prevent drunk driving and bringing it to college campuses.
AB InBev is looking to capitalize on this year’s college football season with a robust marketing strategy that puts Bud Light front-and-center. After months of controversy that have undercut sales for the light beer brand, the company is betting on college football to help reboot Bud Light with its core demographic.
To drive engagement, limited-edition cans will feature a QR code giving fans aged 21 and over a chance to win a flyover in a private jet at the game of their choice, along with limited-edition team merchandise from Fanatics. In terms of on-site activations, the Bud Light Backyard Tour: College Edition will feature performances from DJs including Loud Luxury, Ship Wrek and Acraze. On Saturdays before games, Bud Light will throw tailgates, with a live look at the parties provided by key media partners NBC, Big10 Network and Peacock.
The separate move to expand the “Decide to Drive” drunk driving prevention campaign in partnership with Uber and MADD was inspired by research that found those who are aware of its messaging are 40% more likely to avoid impaired driving by using a ride share service.
“To ensure a future with more cheers for all, it’s imperative that we help college football fans get home safely. That’s who we are, and that’s what this coalition is all about,” said Anheuser-Busch Chief External Affairs Officer Cesar Vargas in a press release.
The “Decide to Ride” campaign will be supported by pop-ups, media promotions and signage. The partnership between the three entities was first formed in 2021 with the tagline “If You Drink, Don’t Drive. Decide to Ride.” Last year, 12,000 consumers utilized Uber ride share discounts offered through the campaign to get to their destination safely. This was accomplished through a partnership with 22 professional sport teams and five Live Nation venues.