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Active MLB, NBA Players to Appear in Beer Ads for First Time in 60 Years

October 16, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Marketing — and in particular, sports-related marketing — has always been central to Anheuser-Busch’s business plan. In its latest marketing coup, Anheuser-Busch, a U.S. subsidiary of global beverage company Anheuser-Busch InBev, negotiated market-leading deals with the players’ associations for two of the “big four” professional U.S. sports leagues: the Major League Baseball Players Association and the National Basketball Players Association. Of course, Anheuser-Busch has had sponsorship agreements with MLB and the NBA for many years, but these new deals will allow the beer maker to feature the names and images of current players in its advertising.

This article explores the 60-year “ban” on the use of individual active players in beer advertising and why the sports-related advertising of alcohol is tricky.