Michelob Ultra will be the exclusive worldwide Official Beer Partner of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, NBA 2K League, USA Basketball and Basketball Africa League under an agreement between ABInBev and the National Basketball Association.
The global expansion builds on the company’s 25-year relationship with the NBA, which officially tipped off in 1998 and has evolved into one of the league’s longest tenured marketing partnerships, committed to engaging the NBA’s global fanbase year-round across its marquee events. Michelob ULTRA became the Official Beer Partner of the NBA in 2020, highlighted during the NBA Restart in Orlando, FL with “Michelob ULTRA Courtside,” an award-winning digital experience that allowed fans to appear virtually inside the arena and share in the excitement of the game at a time when joy was deeply craved.
“Michelob ULTRA tipped off our journey with the NBA during unprecedented times and have continued to work and evolve together to bring our shared commitment of creating joyful experiences for adult basketball fans to fruition,” said Kyle Norrington, Chief Commercial Officer, Anheuser-Busch. “Expanding on our partnership will allow us to tap even further into our existing fan base and reach more basketball fans as we take it to the global stage.”
Core elements of the global agreement include:
● A Global Expansion: Michelob Ultra’s global marketing rights with the NBA, previously limited to the United States, Canada, and Brazil, have expanded across all the league’s global territories. The beer brand will serve as a presenting partner for select NBA Global Games and the global expansion will additionally tip off Michelob Ultra’s marketing partnership with the Basketball Africa League (BAL), beginning with its fourth season in 2024.
● A Bolstered ULTRA Courtside: Beginning with the 2023 NBA Finals, Michelob Ultra will have an expanded oncourt presence through first-of-its-kind physical branding on the baseline apron, visible on nationally televised games across the NBA, WNBA, the NBA Global Games, the NBA 2K24 Summer League, and USA Basketball.
● A Renewed Commitment across the WNBA: Continuing Michelob Ultra’s commitment to increase visibility for women's sports, Michelob Ultra will serve as a partner across every WNBA marquee event.
● A Team Player: Michelob Ultra will also remain the official beer partner of 25 of the 30 NBA teams, allowing the brand to connect with fans in the U.S. and teams across both Eastern and Western Conference. In addition, Michelob Ultra Courtside viewing areas will be available at key league marquee events including NBA All-Star, NBA 2K24 Summer League, and the NBA Draft presented by State Farm.
To celebrate the global expansion, Michelob ULTRA aired a commercial during the 2023 NBA Finals featuring the Miami Heat’s six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler reminding fans that it's only worth it if you enjoy it.