After the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Budweiser vowed to continue their support of women’s soccer and launched their #WontStopWatching campaign to encourage more fans to watch the NWSL. To further illustrate their commitment to the league, Budweiser recently launched a new campaign calling on other brands to step up and support the nascent league.
Drawing on narrative transportation and fan encouragement, Budweiser’s new campaign, Future Official, calls on their fellow brands and businesses to become league sponsors. The AB InBev brand may be the Official Beer of the NWSL, but other sponsorship categories are currently available and ready to be owned by interested brands. As of time of publishing, the NWSL has five brand partners: Cutter, Nike, Thorne, Lifetime, and Budweiser.
— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) October 24, 2019
Using narrative transportation to create a story
Future Official is positioned in a way that marketers and brand managers can envision themselves as the Official Timepiece or the Official Restaurant, for example, of the league. Is my company a fit for NWSL? Do our consumers math NWSL’s consumer demographics? Can we anchor ourselves to a growing league with some of the biggest names in the world? These are some of the questions Budweiser and NWSL hope marketers will ask themselves. It’s a smart position and a great story for Budweiser – kudos to the brand for taking a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats approach to illustrate their continued support of women’s soccer and, as they’re hoping, boost the long-term value of their investment in the league.
Getting fans involved
The Future Official campaign extends beyond ads – Budweiser also has a web portal where fans can pledge support for the sponsor categories they’d like to see filled most. Fans can also push their choices to social media and tag the brand(s) they’d like to see. Encouraging fan participation is another smart tactic from Budweiser and the NWSL because it helps start a dialogue between league and brand. Sports fans tend to be more loyal to league partners than competing brands, so any insight the league can gather is valuable.
Additionally, Budweiser created a short film narrated by Megan Rapinoe that is directed at brands. “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.”