Who were the real winners of Super Bowl 50? Anheuser-Busch, that’s who. The company overpowered America’s most overhyped sporting event with multiple beer brands and messages. There was the infamous orange-flicking, craft-snubbing Budweiser ad. There was the weird orange-endorsing, pro-craft Shock Top commercial. There was the straight-talking, #GiveADamn drinking and driving public announcement, and then there was that insanely-expensive-looking, celeb-filled advert with Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd all getting ready for “The Bud Light Party.”
But perhaps the biggest moment for Anheuser-Busch and its mother ship AB InBev (Code name: Beer Voltron) was Peyton Manning’s multiple mentions of Budweiser during the Super Bowl celebration. The quadragenarian Broncos quarterback named the beer Sunday night after CBS asked if this was his final game?
“…I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy, I promise you that,” Manning replied.
He also mentioned the beer by name again while at the winner’s podium. So, Manning’s a big Bud guy? Why else would a famous person (like Amy Schumer or Helen Mirren) endorse such a product? Well, we’re thinking money. According to this article on The Denver Post Business, Manning owns part of a couple of distributorships in his home state, which may have something to do with his post-game, celebratory Bud nods.
There is a financial boon for Manning. According to the trade publication Beer Business Daily and as reported by the Washington Post, Manning owns a stake in Budweiser distributor in his home state of Louisiana.
Anheuser-Busch also went on the record saying it didn’t pay Manning for the plug, which has been estimated at $13.9 million in free advertising. From the same Post Business article:
On Twitter, Budweiser’s head of marketing Lisa Weser said it wasn’t expected.
“Hi Internet. For the record, Budweiser did not pay Peyton Manning to mention Budweiser tonight. We were surprised and delighted that he did,” Weser tweeted.