Bud Light will remain the official beer sponsor of the NFL through the 2021-2022 season, in a deal that will also allow the brewer to use actual game footage using active players. It is the first time that a beer sponsor will be allowed to use current players in its ads, which has historically been off limits for beer sponsors.
According to Ad Age, however, Bud Light will still not be able to show individually identifiable athletes in its ads. The company will also be able to create exclusive digital content using the same rules, whereas past digital content was only usable if it was also on television.
“We are trying to help them sell beer and the way they can do that is to leverage the NFL to the most avid fans in sports,” Renie Anderson, the NFL's senior VP of sponsorship and partnership management, told Ad Age. Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns Bud Light, is also working to expand its use of team logos, which it can do with any of the 28 of 32 NFL teams with which the company has a sponsorship deal.
Expanded rights would allow Bud Light to sell team-themed beer outside of the team’s home market. The deal is particularly important because an estimated 50 percent of a team’s fans live in a different city than their team, an A-B InBev spokesperson said.