The deal builds on last year’s tie-up between both brands with the launch of a new Budweiser-branded ‘Here’s to the Dream’ TV show that will run run during ESPN’s coverage of the FA Cup.
It will air ahead of the third-round matches between Swansea and Arsenal and Mansfield and Liverpool this weekend (6 January) alongside a series of short films featuring former players’ memories of the tournament. The two new strands build on the ‘Every Match Counts’ series that are currently being shown on the sports channel and document fans’ personal tales about the competition.
The programmes will be promoted primarily using Twitter with fans encouraged to share videos using the #ToTheDream hashtag.
Iain Newell, UK marketing director for AB Inbev, says: “In our second season with ESPN we are looking forward to a programme of activity that engages with football supporters, in particular through social media, generating interest and excitement around our involvement in the tournament.”
It marks the latest push from Budweiser to strengthen its ties to football in the UK. Last July, the beer brand launched its first branded YouTube channel with a focus on showcasing its sponsorship of the FA Cup and non-league side Wembley FC. The business plans on rolling out similar schemes on a global scheme in the coming months.
ESPN has the rights to broadcast 25 live games from the FA Cup this season.
The tie-up will also include the following initiatives:
- Budweiser TV sponsorship – TV idents will run alongside the broadcaster’s coverage.
- Man of the Match – Fans can vote for their Budweiser Man of the Match choice online or using a mobile app.
- Fans’ All-time FA Cup moments – fans will be able to vote for their all time favourite FA Cup moments by taking part in a poll on ESPN.co.uk. The choice with the most votes will be announced on the day of the Cup Final (13 May).