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Anheuser-Busch Ending Exclusive Super Bowl Deal

Peacock-NBC-Super-Bowl
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Anheuser-Busch will not renew its exclusivity deal for Super Bowl LVII, allowing other alcohol brands to advertise during the game for the first time since 1989.

The announcement comes after the company renewed its deal with the league in December for $250 million annually, and just months after announcing that Bud Light will have a presence at all major NFL offseason events. 

“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,” said Spencer Gordon, Anheuser-Busch’s VP of consumer connections.

  • Anheuser-Busch, the parent of Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra, still plans to advertise during the Big Game, but now so can its competitors.
  • Diageo bought the league’s hard alcohol rights for a reported $30 million per year last June.
  • Earlier this month,  E. & J. Gallo Winery was announced as the NFL’s official wine sponsor.

The Super Bowl brought in 112.3 million viewers this year and remains the most-watched TV program in the U.S. Each ad cost around $5.6 million for this year’s game.

Gordon said the money previously spent on the brand’s exclusivity deal will still go toward the Super Bowl’s broadcast partners, but “on different moments throughout the year.”

With the Super Bowl exclusivity, a person with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports that Anheuser-Busch had to purchase ad time on the network’s other sports offerings.

“It’s less about the NFL because they’re obviously still bullish on advertising for the game,” the source said. “It’s more about what they had to probably spend outside of the Super Bowl.”

Anheuser-Busch will still likely invest roughly the same amount in advertising for U.S. sports broadcasts, but the company now has more freedom to direct its ad budget.

Super Bowl Sorrows

Anheuser-Busch is the second company to pull its center-stage sponsorship from the Super Bowl. Last month, Pepsi pulled out as the exclusive Super Bowl halftime show sponsor, but will continue its partnership with the league.

The NFL still has plenty of revenue coming in. Last year, the league signed media deals worth more than $110 billion.

Senior reporter A.J. Perez contributed to this report.

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