Activation Watch: Praiseworthy Programs from Budweiser and Spanish Insurer

By Jim Andrews Jun 30, 2011

When you’ve been tracking the sponsorship industry for nearly a quarter of a century (yikes!) it can be a challenge to find partnerships that stand out or break new ground.

That’s why I’m especially pleased to be able to point out two programs that came on the scene this month that are worthy of your attention.

The first is the new Bud United: The Big Time initiative from Anheuser-Busch. Building on the excellent Bud United: Bud House leveraging program around last year’s FIFA World Cup—which put one fan from each of the 32 countries represented into a Real World-style living situation—the 2011 version takes advantage of Budweiser’s other major investments in sports and entertainment.

For the brewer, Bud United takes its multimillion-dollar portfolio and a level beyond the expected—and successful—territory of broadcast tie-ins and on-site sales rights and into the realm of connecting consumers emotionally with the brand.

The premise is simple: leverage Budweiser’s partnerships to deliver once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for consumers to get behind the wheel of a NASCAR racer, cook with renowned chef Hubert Keller, etc.

Beyond just a contest to win an incredible experience, the program will film the winners in six disciplines and use the footage for an online reality show that will be featured on the Bud United YouTube channel and on Facebook—where Budweiser has a total of more than 2.2 million fans on its global pages. (The possibility of broadcast on U.S. and worldwide television is also being discussed.)

Social media is of course part of the mix. A global call for entries is being conducted through this week on Facebook, as well as the Chinese social network Renren.

While Bud’s is a great example of a deep-pocketed sponsor pulling out all the stops, the second case is of a smaller scale, but resonates even more in making a connection with consumers.

Spanish soccer club Sevilla has partnered with insurance company Pont Grup to offer season-ticket holders who are laid off from their jobs a free season pass for the next campaign. The program comes at a time of high unemployment in Seville and the Andalucian region.

A meaningful, relevant promotion that reassures fans concerned about the economy and which creates amazing goodwill for both the sponsor and property. Bravo.


beer branded content international pro sports social media trends activation


Read more blog posts

Jim Andrews

About the Author

A 30-year sponsorship industry veteran, Jim is responsible for developing and sharing thought-leadership content based on ESP Properties’ groundbreaking work in the areas of sponsorship strategy, valuation, measurement, digital content, data-driven marketing and fan engagement.

In addition to identifying key trends and delivering his unique insights into the critical issues facing rightsholders and their commercial partners, Jim is the chairman of the Annual Sponsorship Conference, responsible for the program and speakers, as well as hosting and delivering the event’s opening address. He also is responsible for the company’s annual report and forecast of overall sponsorship spending, as well as its compilation of biggest spending companies and annual industry surveys.

A frequent media commentator and guest, Jim has been a featured speaker at hundreds of sports, entertainment and marketing conferences around the world.



Be the first to leave a comment.

Please login to post a comment.

ESP Subscription Bundle

A bundled offering to our most valuable, turnkey intelligence. Learn more