Although televised beer ads are a commercial sports staple, you don’t see professional ballplayers featured in them because in most sports, that kind of association has long been frowned on.
But all that’s changing and changing fast…
For the first time in 60 years pro athletes will be able to appear in ads. And according to a favorite site of ours, the Motley Fool, you can look to Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) for helping to initiate this change.
Overcoming decades of resistance to the idea of using athletes in alcohol commercials, AB InBev has “completed a marketing agreement with the players union of Major League Baseball to begin allowing current players to appear in its ads.
The world’s largest brewer has also reached a similar deal with the National Basketball Association’s players union, and some analysts expect that “others may soon follow.”
“One of our key initiatives is to make sure our brands are more relevant,” said Marcel Marcondes, chief marketing officer for AB InBev US, speaking to Sports Business Daily. “We needed to evolve the way we work together with leagues.”
“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.”
And although sports figures appearing in beer ads was probably bound to happen, these agreements couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for AB InBev, who In spite having seen their global fortunes rise by 5% last year, continue to suffer from year’s long sales and volume declines in the US.
And the sports industry needs the heightened visibility that athletes appearing in beer ads will afford them as well.
According to Motley Fool “baseball game viewership was down 6% last year, and football TV ratings tumbled 10% in 2017, following an 8% decline the year before.”
So this thing is ON…get ready for beer ads with pro athletes to enter the marketplace.
But you won’t see them holding or drinking a beer…that was evidently a bridge to far for the players unions, one step at a time.
And you probably won’t see them appearing in craft beer ads either, even though we expect that’s what many of them drink at home but that’s another subject entirely.