Social and Influencer > Influencer Marketing


3PM AGENCY, New York / AB INBEV / 2019

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Every sport has that team. That team that never wins. And no one knows this better than the city of Cleveland. They’re known for having bad sports history and luck. The Cleveland Browns’ winless 2017 National Football League (NFL) season was one of the most disheartening in league history (0-16) – setting a new low for the franchise. And 2016 was pretty brutal too (1-15).

Nevertheless, Browns fans remained loyal and were hopeful the team could secure a win in the upcoming 2018 season.

Describe the creative idea

As the team and fans looked forward to 2018, Bud Light, the official beer sponsor of the National Football League, saw an opportunity to honor the Cleveland faithful, to give die-hard fans a celebration to remember when the Browns finally clinched a win.

Enter Victory Fridges.

We created Instagram-worthy, bright orange and electric blue refrigerators, stocked them with limited edition Bud Lights, and sealed them with smart-tech-connected electronic locks. Then we placed the Victory Fridges in popular bars citywide during the pre-season.

We promised fans that the Wi-Fi-enabled locks would be simultaneously unlocked when the Browns won their first game, giving thousands of fans free, celebratory Bud Lights.

Describe the strategy

To activate our sponsorship in a truly memorable way, we needed an idea that could flex despite several variables. We didn’t know when the Browns would win, or where. Would it be at home, in Cleveland, Or on the road in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Los Angeles? Victory Fridges would allow us to rally fans in anticipation of the win, and then to fully celebrate the victory whenever and wherever it finally happened.

To maximize visibility, we kicked-off the program during preseason, taking advantage of heightened exposure the team received while being featured in HBO’s popular “Hard Knocks” series.

We outfitted our eye-catching Victory Fridges with Wi-Fi-enabled locks, so they could be remotely activated/unlocked the moment the Browns won. Then we partnered with the Browns and Bud Light wholesalers/distributors to prominently place them in bars Cleveland-wide.

We also crafted smaller-scale Victory Fridges, seeding them with Browns influencers to bolster fan excitement.

Describe the execution

In August, Bud Light engaged two former Cleveland Browns player-legends to deliver the first Victory Fridge to a well-known sports bar. Soon after, we delivered additional Fridges to bars citywide, where fans could gather and cheer-on the underdog Browns, anticipating the long-awaited win and well-deserved free Bud Light.

To further amplify the announcement, Bud Light created mini “Victory Fridges,” seeding them with 18 social and media influencers, including former players Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins, professional wrestler and reality TV star, “The Miz,” and quintessential super-fan “Pumpkin Head,” to name a few.

Bud Light ambassadors and media were onsite for every game, prepared for the winning moment when the chains would drop from the fridges.

When the big win finally happened, Bud Light tweeted, “Cleveland, the @Browns won. The fridges are open. Go celebrate with a Bud Light. You’ve earned it.” and the party ensued in Cleveland and nationwide!

List the results

From the moment Victory Fridges were introduced during the pre-season, through several down-to-the-wire-overtime-losses, to the Browns’ highly-anticipated week-3 win, Bud Light dominated local and national conversation. That’s five-plus weeks of sustained media coverage.

And 635 days in the making, the Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets, allowing revved-up, football-loving fans to enjoy a celebratory, free Bud Light.

“The Bud Light Victory Fridges were unlocked at long last and the party was on!” - TODAY SHOW


-1,057 media stories

-2.6 billion media impressions

-Coverage highlights: Good Morning America, New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Business Insider, Bleacher Report, New York Post, CNBC, ESPN, Yahoo! Sports

-Winning quarterback Baker Mayfield asked, live, during the nationally televised post-game press conference: “did they open the Bud Light things yet?”

-300 million social impressions

-Nearly 500,000 additional Bud Lights sold YOY in Cleveland

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