Anheuser-Busch is on a frantic pace to establish itself as the most visible alcoholic beverage brand in the esports industry. The NBA 2K League is always looking for new partners. The inevitable is finally material.
On Friday the NBA 2K League announced a multi-year deal that makes Anheuser-Busch the official beer of the league. Not much is known right now about what all the partnership will officially entail but there are some things that can be inferred.
Anheuser-Busch had an existing relationship with Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the holding company that operates the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and Wizards District Gaming. Those in-roads made this an even more obvious pairing.
The NBA has had a partnership with Anheuser-Busch for over two decades and that has involved in-stadium activations along with signage. The same could become a reality in the NBA 2K League.
Other league-level sponsors in the league have on-court signage, so Anheuser-Busch brand logos could appear during games going forward. Bud Light seems to be the most likely candidate there based on a quote from Anheuser-Busch’s Head of U.S. Sports Marketing Nick Kelly.
As we continue to expand our footprint in esports, it is important to align yourself with great partners and Bud Light becoming the official beer partner of the NBA 2K League does just that… Bud Light was one of the first adopters of esports years ago and this NBA 2K League sponsorship is another pillar of the brand’s overall esports strategy.
Activations in the 2K League studio are another strong possibility. A recent league sponsor in a similar vertical, Snickers, has become part of a regular broadcast segment. Another broadcast element presented by Bud Light is a strong possibility.
The greatest significance for the league besides simply getting more sponsorship dollars is the legitimacy this particular partnership brings. Bud Light’s portfolio of esports partnerships includes other ventures like the Overwatch League.
Wrangling the support of Anheuser-Busch for the entire league increases visibility among the league’s target demographic, who also tend to be Anheuser-Busch’s strongest customer base. It’s definitely worth raising a glass to.