- Busch is celebrating next week's return of NASCAR with a pair of contests to win a recreational vehicle or a full-time job paying $50,000 a year in a professional pit crew. Each contest asks entrants to participate as they watch racing events in the next couple of weeks, per an announcement the AB InBev-owned beer brand shared with Marketing Dive.
- Busch will interview candidates for its Busch Crewmaster position on driver Kevin Harvick's team during the Daytona 500, which will start at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 14. The beer brand will pose a series of questions to its @Buschbeer account on Twitter for candidates to answer in posts using the #TheCrew and #BuschContest, per the contest website.
- The pit crew job offer was inspired by "The Crew," a Netflix series starring comedian Kevin James as the crew chief of a fictitious NASCAR team that begins streaming on Feb. 15. It is the latest in a line of "jobs" offered by brands looking to engage consumers as the job market remains racked by the pandemic.
Busch's latest social media contests aim to engage NASCAR fans as they watch the season-opening events such as the Daytona 500 and Busch Clash. The events are a promising sign that live sports events this year will return to a normal schedule after last year's temporary suspensions during the onset of the pandemic, and Busch wants to ensure that its branding is prevalent throughout this year's NASCAR season. NASCAR was among the first sports organizations to resume operations last year, though fan attendance was limited because of the health crisis.
Busch has made Twitter a key part of the second-screening experience for racing fans with a variety of contests to inspire mobile engagement as they watch NASCAR events. When NASCAR returned in May from the temporary halt, sister brand Busch Light ran a contest on the social media app to give fans a chance to see their faces painted on Kevin Harvick's stock car. During the 2019 season, Busch offered free beer for a year to NASCAR fans who tweeted about Harvick during the Monster Energy Cup Series.
Along with the recreational vehicle giveaway, Busch's NASCAR effort offers consumers a job on a pit crew. The winner will receive a paid position earning $50,000; the opportunity to attend all races, fly on the team's plane and train with the team; and "ownership "of critical race team tasks. While it is unclear what those tasks entail, the job being offered seems to be in line with other positions offered by its sister brands, like Michelob Ultra's "chief exploration officer" and Bud Light Seltzer's "chief meme officer."
Sports marketing is a key part of the promotional strategies for Busch's parent company AB InBev. Even though its Budweiser brand won't appear in a Super Bowl ad for the first time in 37 years, the company's presence will still be felt with commercials for Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer that have seen higher sales among younger consumers. Busch's NASCAR promotions indicate that the company is still developing campaigns to reach sports fans.
The pandemic has led beer brands to make a bigger push into social media and other digital promotions, as many restaurants and bars operate at limited capacity. Consumers have shifted purchases to retail and delivery outlets, making promotions that drive those purchases more prevalent. It's too early to tell when many consumers will feel more comfortable about resuming their former habits of going out to restaurants and bars, which means promotions by beer brands are likely to remain focused on digital channels that drive store sales.