Bud Light Sponsors WWE Events

Anheuser-Bush is desperately trying to repair its image, or at least that of its (and, formerly, the country’s) top-selling beer, Bud Light. For a refresher, the beer company hired Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender activist of some sort, to advertise for Bud Light in a commercial that included Mulvaney sitting in a bathtub drinking Bud Light to celebrate something called “365 Days of Girlhood” while cans of the beverage featuring Mulaney’s image were made. (Anheuser-Busch said the cans were never meant for the public, which may be true but may also be frantic ass-covering.) The executive who made the Mulvaney deal, Alissa Heinersheid, gave an interview where she talked about getting Bud Light away from its “fratty” image featuring “out-of-touch” humor. The result was a big boycott that has seen sales of Bud Light tank so badly that it’s no longer the best-selling beer in America. Heinersheid has been put on leave, with most assuming (and some insiders claiming) that she’s been fired, and Mulvaney hasn’t been near the brand since.

Now, Anheuser-Busch needs to entice back the people who felt slighted by being written off as undesirable (unless you think Heinersheid meant “fratty” as a compliment). After a bunch of subtle-as-a-lead-balloon ads, they’re moving on to wrestling. Last night’s WWE event, Money in the Bank, held a surprise for fans, as it was sponsored by Bud Light. Wrestling is, of course, largely supported by men, and that’s who Anheuser-Busch needs back, so this makes sense for them. I’m not sure if it makes sense for WWE, though; they’re the ones taking a risk with this, potentially alienating fans who are likely part of the Bud Light boycott. I don’t know much about wrestling, so at first, I figured this may have been a holdover sponsorship that people are noticing now, but according to comments read on a video from the YouTube channel Black & White Sports Too, they’ve never had a beer promotion before this.

Some of those comments suggested WWE sign a partnership deal with a more appropriate (as of now) beer, like Steve Austin’s IPA, Broken Skull Beer. My guess is that Anheuser-Busch threw a ton of money at them, more than Steve Austin or another beer would be willing or able to match. They’re desperate, having lost billions over their ridiculous blunder. Bud Light is even teaming with WWE for a sweepstakes to win tickets to this year’s Summer Slam, indicating that they’ll be sponsoring that event as well. Again, this is a smart move on Anheuser-Busch’s part – “Win a free ticket to Summer Slam, thanks to us!” – but WWE is playing with fire after the past few months. People are angry, and Bud Light is a lot cheaper than a pay-per-view event or a ticket to a wrestling event; that boycott is also failing to blow over like many assumed it would.

If the Bud Light boycott spills over to WWE, they won’t be the first collateral damage. Two glass bottling plants owned by The Ardagh Group are closing this month – one in North Carolina and one in Louisiana – and while no official reason has been given, WRAL News has obtained documents revealing that it’s a direct result of the plunging Bud Light sales. According to NRAL, 645 people will lose their jobs when the plants close. How’s that sponsorship looking now, WWE?

Comments (2)

July 3, 2023 at 5:34 am

WWE/Vince McMahon will just about advertise anything. Not only that, but the roster will get dressed up for the sponsor and humiliate themselves by wrestling while cosplaying as Colonel Sanders, pretending to be a valued customer of Phone Network X for lame commercials with CG mascots, and so on.

They’re recently been getting cosy with Draft Kings and advertising things you wouldn’t expect to see on a family-friendly show; now booze has topped that.

It seems like a strange pairing, unless Vince knows exactly how desperate Bud are to turn things around. WWE could also just be a bridge to the UFC, since the two companies are merging. WWE being that friend that puts in a good word.

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see who gets the most shit on their shoes.

    July 6, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    It’s hard to imagine Dana White going for this, no matter how much WWE talks up Bud Light.

    The costume thing is kind of sad; it’s sort of like those guys who dress up as gorillas or Uncle Sam and spin signs to advertise financial advisors or furniture stores or whatever local business is next to Mattress Firm in a strip mall.

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