AB InBev deal will see NBA and MLB stars in beer ads for the first time in 60 years
Budweiser parent company AB InBev has struck a new deal with the NBA and MLB players associations to use athletes from both leagues in marketing campaigns.
The American brewer has overcome decades of resistance to the use of athletes in alcohol commercials, to be able to use names and images of active NBA and MLB players across all forms of advertising.
The two-year marketing deal means that uniformed NBA and MLB players will be shown in Budweiser ads, which will feature athletes talking to the camera and game footage.
The NBA players association took control of sponsorship negotiations involving collective image rights last year and has since become more bullish in making sponsorship deals.
In speaking to SportsBusiness Daily, Marcel Marcondes, chief marketing officer for AB InBev US, said: “One of our key initiatives is to make sure our brands are more relevant.
“Being able to show players in uniform allows us to do very specific local campaigns no one else can do – and local relevance is crucial.”
The American brewer has already been sponsoring the MLB since 1980 and the NBA since 1998.