Cannes Lions

Not Another Sports Show

AB INBEV, New York / ABINBEV / 2021

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Anheuser-Busch has long been a leader in sports. As a company, we’ve overhauled our sponsorship and experiential strategies moving away from static logo slaps and integrating deeper into the consumer experience. While we’re well known for our brands’ advertising campaigns, we worked with Panay Films to push into mainstream programming to reinvent the way we show up in audience’s lives and feeds.

“Not A Sports Show” is focused on transforming our entertainment strategy, where our brands become part of the fun, rather than part of the interruption. Working alongside talented Hollywood filmmakers who share our vision and passion for storytelling helped us tell stories that are a natural fit for our brands and our audience. “Not A Sports Show” represents an inflection point; we flipped our traditional role as sponsor to become a producer.

We co-own the show, have licensed the footage, and are monetizing it based on its viewership.

Idea

We created “Not A Sports Show” for the fans who are curious about the personal lives of the athletes they love. Set in a relaxed bar atmosphere, our host Lil’ Rel Howery and his guests kick back for refreshing conversations about anything and everything. From their greatest fears to their greatest triumphs, guests share their worst dates, personal beliefs, family life and much more about themselves beyond their athletic achievements, all while having some fun.

Each episode is tailor-made for the athlete, the sport, and one of the brands in the Anheuser Busch portfolio. What makes each episode special is how uniquely personal the conversations are with each athlete, as well as the fun surprises that show athletes in a different light. Howery gets the athletes out of their comfort zones with lively activities, including a lie detector test, chili tasting, recreating a karate film, a rap battle and more.

Strategy

Anheuser-Busch is one of the most prominent advertisers in the world. However, in today’s environment where consumers are paying to skip ads, we need to continue to reinvent. One of the key pillars of our consumer-centric marketing strategy is to make our brand connections relevant to people, rather than focusing on visibility alone. Not A Sports Show has flipped the script, because it has allowed us to create a new platform to feature our brands in a subtle, authentic, and integrated way that’s part of the content, and not part of the interruption.

We focused two main things, firstly giving fans a dose of entertainment and secondly, giving Anheuser-Busch’s brands a vehicle for organic, meaningful connections. The most important goal of the show was to make compelling content that fans would want to watch and make them feel like they’re part of the conversation.

Execution

Anheuser-Busch directly partnered with Hollywood producers, writers and directors to create Not A Sports Show from scratch. The show welcomes our athletes and pairs our entire portfolio of brands in a meaningful way. We launched Not a Sports Show on March 25, 2021 as a six-episode, twelve-part series.

Each episode features a special guest athlete such as Paul Pierce, Shaun White, Chiney Ogqumike, Shannon Sharpe, Sabrina Ionescu, Joc Pederson, Melvin Ingram and Kenny Smith. You can stream Not a Sports Show on Ficto.TV, a free interactive mobile streaming network powered by A.I., serving up premium entertainment created by top Hollywood talent and next-generation content creators.

Outcome

Despite its recent launch, Not A Sports Show has already generated 98 media placements, resulting in over 131MM PR Impressions. The press coverage includes prominent features in People, Variety, Digiday, AdWeek, and many more. In addition, the show has garnered 100% positive sentiment, and has generated over 49MM Earned Digital Impressions.

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