NFL Draft Will Be Sponsored By Bud Light. Yeah, That Bud Light

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The NFL dominates television ratings with its games during the season and its made-for-television events in the offseason. And among the league’s biggest offseason events is the draft.

Well, this year the draft will get plenty of intended and unintended attention, as it is televised on NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes. It can also be heard nationwide on Westwood One Radio, SiriusXM NFL Radio and ESPN Radio.

And all of it — all seven rounds over three days on April 27-29 — will be sponsored by Bud Light.

Yes, that Bud Light.

Thursday evening the league proudly announced that 17 of college football’s top prospects will attend the draft in Kansas City. Included in that group are presumed No. 1 pick Bryce Young, along with Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and other top prospects such as Florida’s Anthony Richardson.

NFL announces the 2023 draft sponsored by Bud Light.

Bud Light Sponsors NFL Draft

It’s going to be a party — literally, as many families, friends, frat houses, fire stations, bars, and even museums — hold draft watch parties as do all 32 teams.

And the whole event is sponsored by the beer that recently embraced trans activist Dylan Mulvaney.

Mulvaney is a biological man who now identifies as a woman. This person has become something of a celebrity in certain circles, mostly on social media where Mulvaney has over 10 million followers on TikTok.

But things got sideways when Bud Light in early April partnered with Mulvaney and placed its new spokesperson’s image on its beer cans.

The outrage and backlash has been seismic and something of a culture battle has ensued.

OutKick parent company Fox News reported this week that Anheuser-Busch, which owns Bud Light, has shed roughly $5 billion in value since Mulvaney’s image appeared on its product.

It has been a debacle that has played out in multiple layers over multiple weeks.

Amid the financial disaster, Anheuser-Busch has reportedly paused “its marketing efforts and is scrambling to implement a more ‘robust’ process for evaluating future influencer partnerships,” according to the Daily Wire.

Boycotts of the beer brand have been launched. And and even several planned shows in Missouri featuring company brand mascots the Clydesdales horses have been canceled, “citing safety concerns for employees.”

Bud Light VP Shows Hypocrisy

Amid all this, top company executives are claiming anonymously ‘no one at a senior level’ was aware of the controversial partnership with Mulvaney. The decision to include Mulvaney in the campaign was made by a ‘low-level marketing staffer,’ sources told The Daily Wire.

That low-level marketing staffer is apparently Bud Light vice president of marketing Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid. She is on record stating the brand’s focus is to no longer cater to the beer’s “frat guy” image so as to promote inclusivity.

Except that same marketing genius has been quite chummy with the “frat guy” image in her time.

Before she hated frat guy images, she appeared in several frat guy images during her younger days. So, never mind what I do, just do as I say.

This controversy makes the NFL’s union with Bud Light a thing of curiousity. Because certainly nothing speaks to divorce from frat culture types the marketing person said Bud Light is trying to abandon like the NFL.

Oh, wait.

The NFL actually used to be all in on Alpha Male culture. Biological Alpha Male culture. Before the NFL and Bud Light signed its sponsorship agreement over a decade ago, the league embraced the idea of men playing hard, chasing women, and drinking beer.

The NFL and Bud Light once upon a time seemed agreed on the audience it wanted to attract.

Bud Light Sponsorship Raises Questions For NFL

Now the current controversy calls into question whether the NFL embraces Mulvaney and what is clearly represented there.

There’s no right answer for the biggest and most profitable league in American professional sports.

Because millions of people love Mulvaney.

And millions abhor Mulvaney’s message and reject that a biological man can become a woman.

The NFL, meanwhile, is ill-equipped for this debate. It’s stumped merely by whether to flex late season Thursday night games.

This is not the first year Bud Light and the NFL team up.

Bud Light has been an official sponsor of the NFL since 2011. That lucrative partnership allows Bud Light to use NFL marks, including the NFL shield, for signature events such as Draft, Kickoff Weekend, the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl, and a collective use of all 32 team logos.

Bud Light signage at the 2022 NFL draft. (Photo by Armando Salguero).

Bud Light Will Remain Prominent In NFL

Bud Light was prominent at the NFL draft in Las Vegas last year.

And Bud Light is expected to be prominent at the NFL draft in Kansas City in two weeks.

For the league this is mostly (all) about money.

The NFL is going to do its thing and expect fans not to notice or not mind one of its sponsors is embroiled in a controversial cultural battle.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

2 Comments

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  1. I don’t drink beer or follow The NFL beyond a very superficial level. … or watch any thing on ESPN but certain live sports events. I wasn’t planning on watching the NFL Draft regardless of who sponsors it. I’d be curious if Dylan Mulvaney and his/her/its ilk are big NFL fans?
    .
    Do Paige Spiranac and/or Livvie Dunne drink Bud Light and/or watch The NFL ???? Just curious …

    • Comedy gold! So Bud execs didn’t know the they had a relationship with a activist influencer, didn’t know a low level marketing flunky was remaking the image of their failing brand?
      I’m not surprised their decision to go woke has made them go broke to the tune of $5bn in a few weeks, but I am surprised they’ve lasted this long in the market if they hand over control to the junk degree brigade whose only qualification is drinking in college!
      We don’t believe you execs, you have fallen deeper into the rabbit hole by not apologising that your ESG hire openly hates your dwindling core consumer.
      Gotta love karma!

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