Global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has returned as a commercial partner of American football franchise the Washington Commanders in a multi-year tie-up.
The multinational brand – through its Bud Light beer – is now the team’s official beer sponsor. This marks a return by AB InBev, which partnered the team until March 2022 when it stopped amid investigations of the team’s ownership.
The Bud Light-Commanders partnership will be activated through gameday activations, custom social and digital content, and exclusive fan opportunities.
Both parties have said the partnership will have “a full 360 approach, giving fans [aged] 21 and over more chances than ever to celebrate their team and win one-of-a-kind experiences.”
Jason Wright, president of the Washington Commanders (currently being sold to a new ownership group), said: “Bringing Anheuser-Busch back to FedExField [the team’s home stadium] as a partner not only reflects their confidence in our organization but also their commitment to our fans, who are the most loyal in NFL.”
Matt Davis, vice president of partnerships at Anheuser-Busch, added: “We are excited to have the Commanders back on our NFL roster. This partnership continues to further our commitment to football and its local fanbases across the country. As the official beer sponsor of the NFL, we want to show up in moments that matter for football fans all year long.
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“Our history with the Washington franchise runs deep, and these fans are some of the most loyal and passionate fans in the nation. We’re excited to bring more easy enjoyment to fans throughout the year.”
That AB InBev tie-up with the wider NFL was last extended in 2021 and is scheduled to run until April 2024, while the brand also has specific deals in place with the majority of the other franchises.
This marks the second commercial deal unveiled by the Commanders this week – US telecoms network Verizon has already come on board as the team’s official 5G network.
The deal entails Verizon “providing connectivity aiming to enhance the fan experience, from helping fans get through concession lines quickly, to catching all the action on the field.”
The Commanders are being sold to an ownership group led by billionaire Josh Harris, with the sale approved by the other NFL team owners last month.
The consortium led by Harris also includes basketball legend Magic Johnson and billionaire Mitch Rales, Harris’ longtime sports business partner. The approval came two months after the new ownership group entered into a purchase and sale agreement with previous owners Dan and Tanya Snyder after they agreed to sell the team for a record price of $6.05 billion.
Dan Snyder now faces a $60 million fine from the league following the release of an independent investigation, which found workplace misconduct and financial improprieties while he owned the team.
It was this same investigation that led to the original breaking of ties between AB InBev and the Commanders early last year.
The Commanders begin their 2023 NFL season on September 10, as they take on the Arizona Cardinals.