FREE Webinar: 'Immersive Experiences Unveiled'
Join us for a FREE webinar, 'Immersive Experiences Unveiled,' on July 25.

How Copa America Kicked Off Michelob Ultra’s Big Marketing Push Into Soccer

The Anheuser-Busch brand continues to invest dollars into the sport as it grows in popularity in the U.S.

Michelob Ultra’s Copa America campaign includes special-edition packaging featuring the U.S. and Mexico shield logos.
Michelob Ultra’s Copa America campaign includes special-edition packaging featuring the U.S. and Mexico shield logos.
Photo: Courtesy of Michelob Ultra

Driven by a young, diverse, and digitally savvy demographic, soccer has grown exponentially in the U.S. since the 1994 FIFA World Cup was held in the country. Move over, pickleball. The world’s most popular sport is expected to continue its upward trajectory with this summer’s events, including Copa America.

And thanks to this popularity, brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, Puma, and Michelob Ultra are clamoring to cash in on the sport.

As the Official Global Beer Sponsor of Copa America USA 2024—the every-four-years international men's soccer championship organized by South America's football ruling body, CONMEBOL—Michelob Ultra is using the tournament as part of its overall soccer strategy, which includes sponsoring all the major international tournaments taking place in the U.S. over the next four years, including the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 LA Olympics.

Copa America kicked off June 20 and runs until July 14, with matches held in venues across the country and the final taking place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The tournament sponsorship is part of Michelob Ultra's larger “Summer of Team USA” campaign, underscoring the brand’s commitment to sports as a growth driver. It’s set to be the biggest summer program in the brand’s history, said Ricardo Marques, vice president of marketing for Michelob Ultra.

The Anheuser-Busch brand is also a sponsor of both the U.S. and Mexico men’s national teams and boasts Lionel Messi as spokesperson. 

“With the rising popularity of soccer in the U.S. and what’s sure to be an exciting four years in the country, starting with the CONMEBOL Copa America tournament, we see this long-term investment as the perfect way to connect with the millions of soccer fans and bring unique opportunities for fans to experience the sport through our brand point of view,” Marques said.

The beer brand’s Copa America campaign aims to highlight the Ultra Pitchside online platform, where fans have a chance to win from three tiers of prizes, including Copa America hospitality packages, gear signed by Messi and other merch, and tickets to Copa America matches.  

There’s also special-edition packaging, a fashion collaboration with fellow Copa America sponsor Puma that's inspired by Puma Cubre (the official soccer ball of Copa America), and host city takeovers with fan zones. The brand plans to host more than a million consumers across all 14 host stadiums, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., for each of the 32 matches. 

The footprints include soccer-inspired games, live music, and access to exclusive merchandise. The beer brand also sponsors the Superior Player of the Match Trophy, which is awarded after each match and determined by a fan vote.

“Our goal with all of our sports partnerships is to provide fans with joyful experiences that bring them even closer to the sport and athletes they love,” Marques explained. Michelob Ultra’s sports partner roster also includes the NBA, WNBA, PGA, U.S. Soccer Federation, Mexican Football Federation, and the Professional Bull Riders. It was also just announced that the beer brand will succeed Heineken as Major League Soccer’s official beer.

Michelob Ultra will also support Team USA as the exclusive beer sponsor of Team USA for the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, including broadcast integrations throughout the games.

Page 1 of 8
Next Page