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St. Louis Cardinals Extend Marketing Agreement with Anheuser-Busch

Sales of Anheuser-Busch products slumped this year after a nationwide boycott following its partnership with Dylan Mulvaney

St. Louis Cardinals Extend Marketing Agreement with Anheuser-Busch

Beverage company Anheuser-Busch will retain the naming rights to the stadium that is home to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The company and the team have agreed to extend their marketing agreement for five years. The news comes at the end of a tumultuous year for Anheuser-Busch that included a nationwide boycott of its products.

The company will remain the Busch stadium’s exclusive alcoholic beverage provider and will advertise its products – including Bud Light and Budweiser– on Cardinal radio, televised broadcasts and in-stadium signs.

“Anheuser-Busch and the Cardinals are part of the fabric of St. Louis, and this continued investment in our shared hometown is an exciting next chapter in our decades long story,” said Matt Davis, vice president of partnerships for Anheuser-Busch, per AP News.

Anheuser-Busch purchased the St. Louis Cardinals on Feb. 20, 1953, for $3.75 million (roughly $43.45 million today). The company’s then-president August A. Busch Jr. said he planned to take an active interest in the baseball team and that he was unconcerned that another brewery, Griesedieck Bros Brewery Co., would be broadcasting the games.

“I don’t think that makes a great deal of difference,” Busch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I am going at this from the sports angle and not as a sales weapon for Budweiser beer.”

In the fall of 1995, Anheuser-Busch announced it intended to sell the Cardinals.

Anheuser-Busch’s marketing efforts dominated national news this year after a partnership with Dylan Mulvaney was widely denounced. Mulvaney, a biological male who identifies as a transgender woman, gained a large following on TikTok and other social media platforms for a daily transition documentary series called “Days of Girlhood.” For the 365th day of this series in April, the beverage company paid Mulvaney to feature the beer, along with a custom Bud Light can with Mulvaney’s likeness, in the post.

The company was criticized for promoting content that is disrespectful to biological women and for working with an influencer on a platform predominately used by minors and people under 21 to promote beer.

Sales for the company collapsed as consumers refused to purchase any of its signature products.

The company's U.S. sales fell by more than 10% over the three months compared to the same period last year,” reported ABC News in August. “Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch's core profit in the U.S. fell by more than 28%.” 

CEO Brendan Whitworth offered a public apology on April 14 without directly mentioning Mulvaney, saying the company is “honored to be part of the fabric of this country.”

“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” said Whitworth in the press release. "We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer. ... Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation.”

In recent months, the company has announced new partnerships with former NFL players Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith, musician Zach Bryan, and the UFC.

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