AB's Budweiser and Bud Light brands, for example, sponsor Major League Baseball and 26 of the 30 MLB teams. To celebrate the 2006 baseball season, cartons of Bud brands feature team-specific graphics that let Bud drinkers support their favorite team.
AB reports that 11 of its breweries are involved in the 52 different packaging combinations on three million 18-, 20-, and 24-pack cartons containing either bottles and cans of Budweiser and Bud Light. Cartons are supplied by Temple-Inland (www.templeinland.com), Smurfit-Stone (www.smurfit.com), and Accurate Box (www.accuratebox.com). AB spokesperson Brian Eaton says cartons use a 40# preprinted liner and are printed flexo or litho in seven colors.
Team-specific packaging on individual bottle labels or cans is not done on a nationwide basis, but it is for specific “one-off” instances, says Eaton. A good example: After last year's World Series, AB marketed in Chicago a glass bottle with a label whose printed copy read, “Congratulations on a great World Series.” The label incorporated MLB's World Series logo and trophy, but did not mention the World Series winners, the Chicago White Sox, who are not one of the AB-sponsored teams. The labeled bottle was shrink-wrapped in PETG film from American Fuji Seal (www.afseal.com).
“Our investment in team-specific packaging demonstrates our commitment to the dedicated fans and teams of Major League Baseball,” says Tony Ponturo, AB's vice president, Global Media and Sports Marketing. “Baseball fans are passionate about their team. Our custom packaging with individual team logos helps us tap into the excitement of the season and reinforce to the fans our support of their team.”