Anheuser-Busch InBev today announced it will redirect $5 million that it normally spends on sports and entertainment marketing to the American Red Cross to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The donation comes as the sports world remains shut down.
The brewer, which describes itself as the nation’s largest sponsor of live sports and entertainment, also pledged to work alongside its sports partners to identify arenas and stadiums that can be used for temporary blood drive centers. AB InBev will also make available to the Red Cross its tour centers in Merrimack, New Hampshire and St. Louis. Additionally, the brewer will donate media air time to the Red Cross for public service announcements.
As part of the announcement, AB InBev today released a Budweiser ad called “One Team” that begins with an empty baseball stadium, before showing scenes of frontline workers battling the pandemic, including healthcare professionals, researchers and Red Cross volunteers. One scene shows a teacher reading a story via livestream. The ad ends by making a shout-out to the “home team” against the backdrop of a house and then a larger neighborhood with people safely tucked inside their houses.
The ad, by David, began airing on digital today and will run on TV starting this weekend.