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Budweiser And Megan Rapinoe Solicit New NWSL Sponsors In 'Future Official: It's Worth Watching' Campaign

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Late October saw Budweiser activate its sponsorship of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the US with a campaign called ‘Future Official: It’s Worth Watching’ which challenges other brands to become future sponsors.

This partner drive to bring new brand sponsors on board follows the beer brand’s post-World Cup #WontStopWatching campaign which sought to boost attendances and profile of women’s professional teams and players. ‘Future Official’ is fronted by US national team player Megan Rapinoe who appears in the creative which spans video, online and print work.

The executions all invite businesses to become the next sponsors of the NWSL and also give fans the power to pre-order future official products of the NWSL – even before a sponsor signs on – via The Future Official e-commerce site.

The campaign is spearheaded by a short film, called ‘It’s Worth Watching’, which aired during ESPN’s coverage of Sunday, 27th’s coverage of the NWSL final between the Chicago Red Stars and the North Carolina Courage.

The spot, voiced by Rapinoe, addresses brands directly and calls on them to become official sponsors because “the more support the league gets, the more the world will watch. The more the world watches, the closer we get to an equal playing field.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjrjDt6C_r0&feature=emb_title

As well as appealing to brands directly, the creative pieces all ask fans to encourage their favourite brands to join and channels viewers to the bespoke Bud backed site at http://thefutureofficialsponsor.com/ where brands can explore more about the opportunities, benefits and mechanics of becoming an NWSL partner.

This Future Official e-commerce site has been developed to facilitate pre-ordering of future official products from a wide range of available sponsor categories.

“When the USWNT returned from France, the next step was making sure fans continued to support women’s soccer on a year-round basis. And they answered our rally cry by supporting the NWSL with both record attendance and viewership this year,” said Budweiser Marketing VP Monica Rustgi.

“Now, with the “Future Official Sponsor” campaign, we turn to other brands and encourage them to support the league like passionate fans.”

Comment:

The brand itself claims that this is a ‘first of its kind’ campaign in football and it was timed to coincide with the end of season climax which saw the NC Courage crowned NWSL champions for the second season running. This additional sponsor recruitment activation is a fresh, unprecedented approach. Which rights-holder wouldn’t want a sponsor to run such a campaign?  Especially one with the size and scale of Anheuser-Busch which can leverage its connections and resources to help expand the NWSL’s portfolio of partners and grow the sport of women’s soccer.

In terms of engagement, the campaign has got off to a good start as the spearhead spot racked up 1,372,856 views on Bud’s US YouTube channel in its first three days alone. But, of course, part of the proof of the pudding will whether it manages to help bring other brand partners into the league’s sponsorship portfolio.

It was back in July 2019 that Budweiser became first official beer sponsor for National Women’s Soccer League – coinciding with the US Women’s national team lifting the FIFA World Cup in Paris. Its debut activation, created in partnership with VaynerMedia, called on fans to support the NWSL with a movement style campaign called #WontStopWatching which set out to increase the support of the NWSL during regular-season games (and not just high profile events like the World Cup).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeUSh32b_Ig&feature=emb_title

This latest initiative to call on other brands to become future sponsors of the women’s league dovetails with its original strategic objective and commitment.

The June deal made Budweiser one of the biggest sponsors of the NWSL and included naming rights to the playoffs, the championship, the MVP trophy, and a newly created ‘Most Valuable Supporter’ award for the league’s biggest fan. Budweiser is activating the sponsorship locally in harness with teams and stadiums and its activation includes an innovative off-season program will give NWSL players immersive training on the business side of sports from Budweiser executives. “Budweiser has supported the U.S. Women’s National team for three decades,” said Rustgi when the deal was signed back in the summer.

“But we realize there is so much more Budweiser can do. Becoming the official beer sponsor of the NWSL is our way of not just supporting the U.S. Women’s Team once every four years, but also supporting women’s soccer every single day.”

 

Links:

Future Official

http://thefutureofficialsponsor.com/ 

Budweiser USA

https://www.ab-inbev.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Budweiser

https://www.youtube.com/user/budweiser

https://twitter.com/budweiserusa

https://www.pinterest.com/budweiser/

https://www.instagram.com/budweiserusa/

 VaynerMedia

https://vaynermedia.com/

This case study originally appeared on Activative: which offers clients creative and strategic intelligence to fuel game-changing sports and sponsorship marketing. www.activative.co.uk

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