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Bud Light leverages fall football excitement via Twitter-supported fantasy draft

Anheuser-Busch?s Bud Light brand is joining forces with Twitter to host its own fantasy football draft, allowing mobile users to participate in a week-by-week activation that will crown one fan the first Cantasy Football Champion.

Bud Light?s sponsorship of Thursday Night Football is bringing a virtual fantasy draft to life on Twitter, thereby heightening real-time fan engagement and second-screen viewing experiences. The Cantasy Football activation invites participants to follow Bud Light?s official Twitter account to receive their auto-drafted team, which can be tweaked each week based on the lineup for Thursday Night Football.

?The program itself is not geared to ?reach? but rather engage Bud Light?s target audience over the entire football season,? said Michael Becker, managing partner at mCordis. ?The reach element of the program will come from the promotion of compelling content (text, images, GIFs, video) across a wide range of digital media, and if the budget allows for it, traditional/physical media.  

?Once engaged, this program will give Bud Light the opportunity to play and delight fans throughout the season, not just in the context of the can game play, but through a wide range of content and storytelling options.?

Uncapping social engagement
Bud Light and Twitter?s Cantasy Football campaign enables participants to use the former?s National Football League-themed cans to score each team?s performance in games. The partnership also marks the first time that Twitter is live streaming NFL content.

?As a leading sports marketer, we're very interested in understanding the evolution of live streaming sports,? said Azania Andrews, senior director of digital connections, North America at Anheuser-Busch InBev. ?Cantasy is an opportunity to further engage fans who are watching TNF games via Twitter.?

To participate in the virtual fantasy draft, football fans must follow Bud Light?s official Twitter account. There, they will also find a pinned post inviting them to click the Tweet button to receive their auto-drafted team.

This action will show each user his or her drafted team, which consists of an image of seven Bud Light cans, each representing a different football team.

Each week, consumers will have the ability to swap out one team can at one position with a team that is scheduled to play at the forthcoming Thursday Night Football game.

Points will be calculated based on teams? performance statistics rather than those of individual players. Once a team on a participant?s roster plays, it cannot be switched out from his or her lineup.

By the time that the season culminates, all fantasy draft players will have their points calculated, with the high-scoring individual receiving the status of the first Cantasy Football Champion.

?The Cantasy Football winner will emerge with the bragging rights of being Bud Light?s first league champion,? Ms. Andrews said.

An outpour of mobile activations
The Cantasy Football draft is not Bud Light?s only mobile-first campaign centering on fall football season.

Several weeks ago, Bud Light kicked off a new mobile push that enabled Denver Broncos fans to get a free beer on game day via the Ibotta application as well as access interactive content and win prizes using their phones at the team?s stadium (see story).

Mobile has historically been one of the most effective ways for Bud Light to connect with its millennial fan base.

Earlier this summer, the beer marketer prompted consumers to take advantage of summertime happy hours by offering an incentive to kick back and relax, enabling fans to participate in a mobile-optimized sweepstakes for the chance to win branded merchandise and a trip to the Bud Light Convention (see story).

However, the Twitter-supported fantasy draft has even more potential to reach a wider range of consumers.

?Every brand, every marketer, should have a strong mobile and connected campaign/activation strategy within their marketing effort today, and alcohol brands are no exception,? mCordis? Mr. Becker said. ?This is especially the case for sports-related marketing.

?Alcohol brands have a long history and association with sporting events; many people enjoy a drink watching a game,? he said. ?People are mobile today; they are consuming massive amounts of content through their mobile devices, especially during sports events, since the events cater to multi-screen/multi-tasking behavior in between plays. 

?Moreover, sporting events are extremely social, as is alcohol. In fact, beer has often been considered to be the first social media. I suspect that Bud Light will score big with its fans throughout the season with this program.?