Busch Light’s new ad touts growing investment in female NASCAR drivers

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Busch Light in an ad during the Daytona 500 will announce a new program sponsoring every female NASCAR driver aged 21 and older, according to a press release.
  • The “Busch Light Accelerate Her Program” pledges $10 million over the course of three years and is intended to give more resources to female drivers, such as more track time and training. The AB InBev brand’s commercial will air during the 64th running of NASCAR’s biggest event which takes place on Feb. 20.
  • The program highlights Busch Light’s focus on social justice, which younger consumers say is increasingly important to them, while also taking advantage of an existing partnership.

Dive Insight:

As social justice becomes a key issue for younger consumers, a growing number of brands have placed a greater a focus on equality. Busch Light is using its long-standing relationship with NASCAR to address the inequality female drivers face.

Currently, no women compete at the highest levels of NASCAR, despite being one of the only sports where men and women compete directly, according to the press release. The $10 million program is intended to fund track time, media exposure and training to help drivers advance. The inaugural class of drivers being sponsored includes Toni Breidinger, Natalie Decker, Amber Balcaen, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brittney Zamora, Stephanie Moyer and Melissa Fifield. A portion of the allotted money will be reserved for future drivers.

Busch Light isn’t the first Anheuser-Busch brand to emphasize gender equality in sports this year. During the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, Michelob Ultra aired its “Superior Bowl commercial starring Peyton Manning, Alex Morgan, Jimmy Butler, Nneka Ogwumike and Brooks Koepka in an intense game of bowling, only to be upstaged by Serena Williams’ arrival. The awe given to Williams at the end of the spot is meant to highlight the skill of female athletes. Michelob Ultra has also pledged $100 million to increase female visibility in sports.

Brands risk losing the business of millennials and Gen Z if they don’t position themselves as socially conscious and take real action to support their claims, per Forbes. Announcing the Busch Light Accelerate Her program during NASCAR’s biggest event of the year may help to position the beer brand as socially aware and active.

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