NFL to lose exclusive AB InBev Super Bowl sponsorship after 2023

  • AB InBev has been the Super Bowl’s exclusive alcohol partner since 1989
  • Company signed ‘US $ 250m per year’ deal with NFL in December
  • Pepsi announced last month it would no longer sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show

Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev will not renew its exclusive sponsorship deal for the Super Bowl after next year’s event.

The company, whose brands include Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra, has sponsored the National Football League’s (NFL) showpiece game since 1989.

It means AB InBev’s competitors such as Heineken and Molson Coors will now be free to run a national commercials during the Super Bowl for the first time in 35 years.

AB InBev and the NFL renewed their partnership in December 2021, covering beer and hard seltzer rights, which CNBC reports is worth more than US $ 250 million per year. The company lost control of hard alcohol rights last June when Diageo became the league’s first ever official spirits sponsor, inking a contract worth a reported US $ 30 million per year.

It was also announced in March that Bud Light would have a presence at all major NFL events this offseason, including becoming the official presenting sponsor of the 2022 NFL Draft, which took place in April.

AB InBev said the decision to step back from its Super Bowl involvement would enable the company to better deploy its marketing spend throughout the year, both during the football season and the summer months, when consumers buy more of its beverages.

“The Super Bowl is a huge tentpole moment for consumers, but it doesn’t necessarily line up with the key moment of consumption for the beer industry,” Spencer Gordon, AB InBev’s vice president of consumer connections, said Adweek.

“We are evolving our investments so that our brands reach the right consumers, at the right time, in the right place, with the right messages.”

While AB InBev is giving up its Super Bowl rights, Gordan said the company remained committed to the NFL and still intends to buy Super Bowl LVII advertisements.

“We’re super involved with a lot of different media and sponsorships and experiential activations, but none is bigger than our relationship with the NFL,” Gordon said.

AB InBev also plans to continue reinvesting the money it would have spent on a new exclusivity deal with the NFL’s Super Bowl broadcast partners, although the company has not disclosed how much its prior agreements cost.

“Are we spending the same amount of money with CBS and NBC and Fox? The answer is ‘yes,’ ”Gordon continued. “But it’s on different moments throughout the year when we have inventory.”

Adweek added a lot, if not all, of the ad spend will go to NFL properties. Conversations with the networks are currently ongoing as part of upfront negotiations.

The news follows Pepsi confirming last month that it would no longer sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show as part of the drinks and snack společnosti latest renewal with the NFL. Tracie Rodburg, the NFL’s senior vice president of sponsorship management, told CNBC that the pair’s priorities “have evolved”.

The 2022 Super Bowl averaged 112.3 million viewers across NBCUniversal platforms, up 16.5 per cent on 2021’s event.

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