Embattled beer king Anheuser-Busch — which has seen sales nosedive over Bud Light’s Dylan Mulvaney fiasco — has a new dance partner and this one should be far less controversial.
The Belgium-based brewer on Friday announced a long-term deal with the International Olympic Committee for the next three Olympics and Paralympic Olympic Games.
However, the maker of Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and a slew of other suds will promote its zero-alcohol beer, Corona Cero, as the global beer sponsor of the games, the company said in a press release.
The move “highlights a shared commitment [with the IOC] to responsible beer consumption,” said AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris, adding that “beer is the beverage of moderation.”
The sponsorship deal further attempts to distance Anheuser-Busch from Bud Light’s now-infamous tie-up with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, whose ad for the brand on social media last April led to boycotts that caused Bud Light beer sales to plummet to their lowest level since 1999.
Bud Light was knocked from its two-decade perch as the top-selling beer in the US, and Anheuser-Busch’s other brands, including Budweiser, suffered residual fallout.
Doukeris, who never directly addressed the Mulvaney controversy, toasted the news deal with the IOC.
“This partnership illustrates the opportunity for our category to positively impact and engage with billions of fans around the world, ushering in a new era of Olympic spirit as we cheer for our favorite teams and athletes as they go for gold. We look forward to activating at the 2024, 2026 and 2028 games,” Doukeris said.
Financial terms of the sponsorship weren’t revealed.
Separately on Friday, AB InBev said that Michelob Ultra will be the Team USA sponsor for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris later this year.
The brand will also be the team’s sponsor for the 2026 Winter Games in Italy — known as Milano-Cortina 2026 — and the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles, the first Olympics to be held in the US in nearly 30 years.
The Post has sought comment from AB InBev and the IOC.
Some social media users weren’t quick to forgive Anheuser-Busch over the Mulvaney incident and also took a shot at the choice of Michelob Bold as the team’s sponsor.
“They pick the one people hate the most. Bold,” one user wrote on X, while another said that the unexpected move “is a bit like selling out to the highest bidder.”
“I think I will boycott,” another said of the Olympics, adding: “You should be deeply ashamed of yourself.”
Bud Light, meanwhile, recently inked a deal reportedly worth $100 million to be the UFC’s primary beer sponsor.
As part of the partnership, beginning in 2024, the Bud Light has had a heavy presence in UFC’s content in its broadcasts and online beginning in 2024.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the UFC also faced an influx of calls for a boycott after news broke of the mixed martial arts’ six-year deal with Bud Light back in October.