When Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters broke up a touchdown pass play sealing a victory over the Buffalo Bills last December, he jumped into the stands and “shotgunned” a quick beer with jubilant Ravens fans. Social media loved it.
The NFL fined him $14,037. Bud Light paid the same amount to the charity of his choice.
Anheuser-Busch InBev announced Tuesday it had signed Peters as one of its first three active player brand ambassadors -- leaving the easily inferred conclusion that drinking a Bud Light, or being drenched by one, is a route to an ambassadorship and contract.
Another new ambassador, Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher, “showered” near the stands with Bud Light after a Chiefs touchdown this season. He was also fined $14,037 and won the everlasting love of fans.
Bud Light happily paid a charity that amount, too, and trumpeted the fact on social media.
The third ambassador, New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate, made news, of sorts, in 2018, when partiers at a ski lodge in British Columbia noticed him standing perched slightly above the crowd (he was wearing an American-flag inspired ski outfit), and flung a beer his way. He proudly chugged it. The video went viral.
In May, the NFL changed its endorsement rules to allow players still active in the league to appear in ads for alcoholic beverages. Lifting that restriction was seen as an example of how the league was loosening up.
No one paid directly for the social media attention each beer-guzzling (or showering) incident received. And unlike beer ads on TV, where the ad always cuts away before alcohol actually touches anyone’s lips, in the user-generated videos, athletes don’t have to hold back.
But it appears that at least sometimes, players may get paid, if retroactively. In fact, Tate now has a short video on his Twitter page that shows him next to a refrigerator filled with Bud Light before turning his back to the camera to sign his contract.
“Fans will have to wait and see just how these partnerships come to life,” a publicist wrote. “Could there be more? Who knows…we’ll have to wait until another player decides to celebrate with a beer.”