Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned alcoholic seltzer brand Bon & Viv has become the ‘Official Hard Seltzer Sponsor of the NFL’.
The deal expands on AB InBev’s existing deal with the NFL for its Bud Light brand, the NFL’s Official Beer Sponsor. That deal is thought to be worth $1.4bn over six seasons, from 2017 to 2022.
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AB InBev said in a statement: “As a sponsor of the NFL, fans will be able to enjoy Bon & Viv in 16 oz. cans in stadiums across the country
“The brand will also show up via dedicated TV spend in NFL games and on NFL.com and Twitter.”
Anheuser-Busch partnered with Boathouse Beverage to launch Bon & Viv in 2016, and promoted the brand with a 30-second spot ad during this year’s Super Bowl.
It is also available in several NFL stadiums, as well as Major League Baseball ballparks, including venues for the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The sponsorship was announced with a soft launch involving a digital advertising campaign featuring ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter.
Sponsorship of the hard seltzer category is a first for the NFL and follows a relaxation of league rules on association with spirits brands.
In 2017, the NFL allowed its television partners to accept commercials for spirits brands, with Diageo whiskey brand Crown Royal airing the first NFL regular season ad in September that year. Spirits brands could also promote themselves as the ‘official’ product of teams they sponsor.
In May, the league rolled out further guidelines on alcohol sponsorship, watering down limits on the use of team and player likeness in ads for beer, distilled spirits and wine.
In a separate move this week, US wine brand Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, has signed partnerships with three major NFL teams: the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, and New York Giants.
The new agreements start with the 2019 season and will be supported by a national and regional 360-marketing plan, including TV advertisements running on ESPN and NFL Network.
Woodbridge will further support the partnerships with digital advertising campaigns and out-of-home advertising that includes billboards and double-decker buses in the area surrounding each team’s stadium.