American football’s NFL has extended its commercial agreement with Anheuser-Busch, the international brewing giant, in a multi-year renewal.
Through an extension announced yesterday, the brewing giant (which counts the Michelob and Budweiser brands amongst its number) will continue as the league’s exclusive beer and hard seltzer sponsor for the duration of the partnership.
The current deal between the NFL and its partner was struck in 2015 and is scheduled to run out after the 2022 Super Bowl. At the time of signing it was reported to be worth over $1.4 billion.
The partnership, both parties have said, “will include many new opportunities for the Anheuser-Busch brands, led by Bud Light, that will continue growing excitement among NFL fans.”
In addition to its exclusive deal with the league itself, the brewing heavyweight also has 27 individual team partnerships, and endorsement deals with over 25 current players.
Tracie Rodburg, senior vice-president of sponsorship management at the NFL, said: “Our continued partnership with Anheuser-Busch is centered on our shared belief that football has the power to build unforgettable moments for our fans … We look forward to continuing to work with A-B and their Club partners to bring new, on-trend experiences to life for our fans over the next five years through our partnership.”
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Benoit Garbe, chief marketing officer at Anheuser-Busch, added: “We are pleased to continue our partnership with the NFL to build meaningful experiences and connections for football fans across the country. Core to our people-centered mission in marketing at Anheuser-Busch, our objective is to bring together what people most care about and what our brands stand for.”
Anheuser-Busch has a wide-ranging presence in US sport, sponsoring the likes of the NFL, ice hockey’s NHL, and motor racing’s Nascar. Budweiser brand is also a second-tier Fifa World Cup Sponsor in a deal that includes the prestigious 2022 soccer event in Qatar.
Last week, the NFL gave 18 of its 32 franchises access to 26 International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) across eight countries, a major initiative designed to give teams a strategic boost in building their brand appeal and fanbase globally.
The move means that from January 1, 2022, the teams will be able to market their brands, drive fan engagement, and increase their commercial efforts in their allocated territories.
The NFL has called this move, which gives clubs access to these international markets for five years, “part of an important, long-term, strategic effort to enable clubs to build their global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally.”
The eight IHMAs are the UK, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Spain, China, and Australia. Franchises are not limited to just one and indeed in some cases now have access to three.