The Washington Commanders announced an exclusive partnership with Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch, and social media users expressed their clear displeasure.
The NFL team announced that the troubled company would be their Official Beer Sponsor for multiple upcoming seasons on Thursday.
“As the 2023 NFL season kicks off, the Washington Commanders and Anheuser-Busch are proud to announce their new multi-year partnership,” the former Redskins said in a statement.
Team President Jason Wright said the Commanders were “thrilled” to partner with the beer brand, and expected that the collaboration would “create a new and improved experience” for fans.
Reunited with @budlight?
Now that’s easy to celebrate 🍻 pic.twitter.com/JJ0fTo2Iqs
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 17, 2023
“Bringing Anheuser-Busch back to FedExField as a partner not only reflects their confidence in our organization, but also their commitment to our fans, who are the most loyal in NFL,” he remarked.
Anheuser-Busch executive Matt Davis said they were “excited” to have the team back on their “NFL roster,” and noted that the partnership furthers the company’s “commitment to football and its local fanbases across the country.”
“Our history with the Washington franchise runs deep, and these fans are some of the most loyal and passionate fans in the nation,” he gushed.
The Commanders found out how unenthusiastic their fan base was about the deal, after they posted a video celebrating the collab on Thursday morning.
“Reunited with Bud Light,” the caption reads. “Now that’s easy to celebrate.”
“Next: Dylan Mulvaney’s favorite NFL team will announce Tampons as one of the teams official partners,” one person griped.
“This has got to be the worst marketing move ever!” Somebody pointed out. “Here, I thought this new ownership was going to do things differently. Nope, right back to the same backward thinking!”
“Great to see the Redskins trying to save another dying brand!” Someone else snarked.
“Woke team goes with woke beer, makes sense,” one Twitter user shot back.
The Commanders changed their name from the “Redskins” in 2020, in the July following George Floyd’s death.
At the time, Washington D.C. lawmakers threatened keep the team from relocating from FedEx Field if they committed to a name change.
The team briefly went by the Washington Football Team, until announcing their new moniker, the Commanders in February 2022.
The Native American Guardians Association (NAGA) recently petitioned the Harris Group, which bought the franchise from former owner Dan Synder for $6.05 billion in July, to change the team’s name back to the Redskins.
“The name “Redskins” carries deep cultural, historical, and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience, and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture,” the change.org page, which has received nearly 120,000 signatures, reads.
“It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration.”
Ironically, the organization threatened the Commanders with “a national boycott similar to what happened with Anheuser Busch.”
“Which is now down $27 billion (note, not one brick thrown, not one highway blocked, not one bridge burned) — WE WILL DO JUST THAT,” the pledged.
“You might as well stay the Commanders cause Bud Light is an embarrassment to the Redskins,” someone tweeted.
“If the Redskins were looking for a way to destroy the NFL for the team’s name change, this is it,” another remarked.
While plenty of people were upset that the Commanders would dare to serve Bud Light during games, some fans pointed out that partnership between the scandal plagued franchise and controversial beer brand probably makes financial sense.
“Ever heard of buying low??? I’m sure new ownership got a smokin’ deal because Bud Light is a really beaten up brand,” somebody noted.
“Yo let’s sell those Bud Lights for under $10 at FedEx this year,” a fan added. “Thank you.”
“They’re desperate, we’re desperate, I guess it makes sense somehow,” another one of the Commander faithful replied.