Former NFL star J.J. Watt is the new face of Miller Lite’s football program, the brand announced.
The former defensive end for the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals appears in a new ad for the American lite lager, debuting this week. According to MolsonCoors’ Beer & Beyond blog, the partnership will also include retail marketing tools. The effort will build of the NFL campaign Miller Lite launched late last month featuring packaging designed around alliances with 16 NFL teams and connections to fantasy football.
The debut ad featuring Watt playfully references his playing number: 99. In the spot, Watts alludes to a certain schoolyard classic counting song with a deadpan delivery about some of the details he missed when signing his contract with the brand. While Watts’ acting chops may not equal his on-field abilities during his career, his charm and profile (he’s hosted “Saturday Night Live” and is also married to National Women’s Soccer League player Kealia Ohai Watt) should be be enough to score plenty of points with fans.
“J.J. embodies football and, just like Miller Lite, he’s from Wisconsin,” Miller Lite Marketing DIrector Anne Pando told Beer & Beyond. “And he’s a true Miller Lite fan who’s as beloved for what he did on the field as for what he does off the field,” she added, presumably in reference to philanthropic efforts such as his Justin J. Watt Foundation, which provides athletic after-school opportunities for children, as well as his fundraising for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in 2019.
Watt will be up against some fierce competition as Miller Lite takes on rival Bud Light in a battle for NFL fan fridge space this season. The Anheuser-Busch flagship brand and official NFL sponsor kicked off its football season drive with an “Easy To Sunday” spot last month, as well as an expanded packaging push leaning further into its NFL team cans that now feature a star player from each club. There’s competition from outside the category, too, as Diageo spiced rum brand Captain Morgan goes big with its “Follow The Captain” campaign featuring former NFL star wide receiver Victor Cruz, pop star Bebe Rexha,and rapper/singer Aminé.