Budweiser x MLB Sponsorship: Case Study

SponsorPulse Staff
  • November 21, 2022
  • SponsorPulse Staff
Budweiser MLB Case Study
Budweiser’s relationship with MLB dates back to 1980, making the beer brand the longest-standing partner of the league.

That’s a pretty hefty investment over the years, and hopefully, one that’s paying off. 

Sponsorship impact is one of the most critical tasks when it comes to understanding sponsorship performance and ROI. To do it right, you need to establish a baseline for partnerships and adopt a common measurement system. At SponsorPulse, we use consumer data to benchmark sponsorship outcomes and impact on consumer behavior by speaking with engaged fans of the property in question. 

Understanding what’s working and what isn’t can help you prepare for negotiations and renewals, and prove the true value of a deal. 

So, how does Budweiser’s investment impact baseball fans? We surveyed the fans to find out. 

Are MLB fans beer drinkers? 

First things first, to understand the impact of the sponsorship, we need to know if MLB fans are the right audience for a beer brand to be trying to reach. As it turns out, they are. 

68% of MLB-engaged consumers have consumed beer in the past 3 months. That’s actually 29% higher than non-MLB-engaged consumers. 

Our study also found that category usage (ie. beer consumption) is higher, among male fans, fans living in the US West, and those who engage with the league weekly or more. 

Are MLB fans aware of the league's relationship with Budweiser?

When it comes to sponsorship efficiency, MLB fans demonstrate strong awareness of the partnership overall. 68% of MLB engaged are aware. By segment, 73% of mid-to-high-income households are aware of it. Stronger awareness is also prevalent among key category segments, including beer consumers at 73% and Budweiser customers at 80%.

What opportunities exist for Budweiser to improve sponsorship impact?

Looking at both aided and unaided sponsorship awareness among MLB fans, Budweiser is well above the sponsorship action standard, as developed from the hundreds of sponsorships measured. As of late, this is driven primarily by custom team MLB beer cans, which 1 in 2 fans attribute as the source of awareness.

But while MLB fans are aware of the partnership, there is room for improvement when it comes to its impact on general brand sentiment and purchase consideration. 

Where brand equity is concerned, 1 in 3 MLB fans agrees that the King of Beer’s sponsorship positively drives brand attributes and 41% agree that Budweiser is “America’s beer”. 

Incremental purchase consideration and brand favorability both sit below the action standard at 27% and 32% respectively. 

The Verdict: Budweiser’s MLB Sponsorship Impact

Being the longest-running MLB sponsors, fans are well aware of the relationship between Budweiser and MLB and the target audience is a good fit. On the flip side, there is room for Budweiser to employ creative activations to help improve impact scores across purchase consideration and favorability to maximize the investment. 

Find out how other MLB brand sponsors performed in our 2022 MLB Sponsorship Impact Report

Our full report includes 10 in-depth sponsorship performance case studies for the MLB's most prominent sponsors, including Gatorade, T-Mobile, Mastercard, Geico, Capital One, Budweiser, Hankook, Corona, Adobe, and Draft Kings. 

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