In 2019, Michelob Ultra grew to become the second-best-selling brand in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) portfolio, placing only behind Bud Light. With its low-calorie, low-carb profile, the brand’s success is closely tied to its appeal to athletic, calorie-counting drinkers. It makes sense, therefore, that Michelob Ultra has just been announced as the official beer partner of the NBA.
The announcement comes just in time for the resumption of the 2019-2020 season, which is set to restart at Disney World Florida on July 30. With fans unable to attend the games in person, Michelob Ultra’s first play as the league’s official beer partner has been to announce Michelob Ultra Courtside, “a digital experience that allows fans to appear virtually inside the arena and share in the excitement of the games,” according to the press release. Exact details of what the experience will entail are still under wraps.
Michelob Ultra also accompanied the announcement with a charming commercial. In it, five-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler shows off his karaoke skills while packing a suitcase — presumably to head off the “NBA bubble” in Orlando, and possibly to join some teammates in shotgunning macro lagers.
While Michelob Ultra replaces Budweiser as the NBA’s official beer, don’t be tempted to chalk this one up as a loss for the “King of Beers.” Budweiser is also owned by AB InBev, so we can safely call this one a tie.