Even as the fallout from the Bud Light boycott increasingly looks like permanent damage, the brand is pouring millions into newly launched NFL and college football marketing programs.
Football season is a crucial period for domestic beer brands—arguably, none more so than Bud Light, which enters this season badly in need of a win. The Anheuser Busch InBev-owned brand has been under siege since an April 1 promotion with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney unleashed a stubborn boycott from conservative Bud Light drinkers. Retail sales have fallen between 25% and 30% since then.
The brand’s NFL and college football programs—which include new creative, custom cans and packages, games, giveaways and special events—together represent “one of our biggest football seasons ever,” according to Todd Allen, VP of marketing for Bud Light. And while the company is optimistic about stabilizing trends in some states, it remains to be seen whether the spending can turn the tide.
Recent news: Bud Light’s NFL campaign begins as struggles persist
“Our focus remains on doing what we do best—creating great moments of easy enjoyment,” Allen said in emailed remarks. “Having been the official beer sponsor of the NFL for decades and building a legacy as one of the most recognized and influential sponsorships in sports, NFL season has always been a critically important time for Bud Light and our fans, and we’re excited for what the 2023 season has in store.”