Budweiser Aims To Make Opening Day National Holiday

Thousands of people play hooky from work every year in order to attend or watch their team play baseball on opening day.

Budweiser, the official beer of Major League Baseball’s opening day, is lobbying the White House to consider making the day a national holiday.

The beermaker is partnering with hall-of-famer Ozzie Smith for the effort, which begins with a petition at Whitehouse.gov. The petition needs 100,000 signatures within 30 days in order to be considered by the administration.

Baseball fans 21 and older can visit Budweiser.com/OpeningDay to join the cause before opening day on Monday, March 31.

To support the movement and drive signatures to the WhiteHouse.gov petition, Budweiser is launching a campaign, including an online video series featuring Smith and digital advertising buys across such platforms as ESPN.com and MLB.com.

More than 2,000 Budweiser day-fresh draught kegs are expected to be delivered to MLB cities and stadiums across the U.S. before opening day. As it has in years past, Budweiser will convert more than 6 million cases of beer to feature marks of MLB and logos of 23 of its 30 teams, available nationwide beginning March 3.

According to a recent survey, an estimated 22.2 million Americans, age 21 and older, admit to having skipped work or other commitments to attend or watch an opening day game, with fans 21-44 years old twice as likely as their older counterparts to do so. The top reason given for opening day being so special to fans is that it means a fresh start for their team, followed closely by the opportunity to spend time with family and friends watching a baseball game.

Budweiser and baseball have gone hand-in-hand ever since both were born in the 1800s, says Tom Kraus, director, Budweiser.

"While many would probably appreciate the day off to celebrate the start of baseball season, we understand that a true 'federal holiday' may not be appropriate – and instead would intend for the President to consider a U.S. 'national observance' on opening day," Kraus tells Marketing Daily.

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