The National Basketball Association has named Michelob Ultra as the league’s official beer partner in a multiyear deal.
The partnership will kick off during the NBA Restart in Orlando, Florida, with “Michelob Ultra Courtside,” a digital experience that allows fans to appear virtually inside the arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
A nationally-televised advert featuring Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler has also been released.
Michelob Ultra is replacing fellow Anheuser-Busch brand Budweiser as the NBA’s official beer sponsor. The reason for the switch has not been disclosed. But Michelob Ultra, frequently marketed as a low-calorie alternative for fitness-conscious consumers, has seen its sales and profile rise significantly in recent years.
“As we prepare for the NBA Restart in Orlando, we are thrilled to expand our longstanding partnership with Anheuser-Busch and welcome Michelob Ultra as an official partner of the league,” said Ed Winkle, NBA vice president of global partnerships. “Our collaboration in Orlando will offer a unique opportunity to reach and engage NBA fans in an entirely new way.”
It is the second major commercial partnership that the NBA has signed during the Covid-19 pandemic, following a multi-faceted deal with Microsoft in April.