By Barry Janoff
March 10, 2014: As Frank Sinatra used to sing regarding New York, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere."
Anheuser-Busch is taking that to heart, transitioning its Bud Light Hotel, last seen docked in the waters off New York in conduction with the NFL's Super Bowl XLVIII, to Dallas, setting up the Bud Light Hotel in Dallas in conjunction with the NCAA Div. I Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four.
The Bud Light Hotel will be the center of a bevy of activations that the brewer is planning for March Madness. Although not an official marketing partner of the NCAA (the organization that encompasses student-athletes distances itself from beer and alcohol alliances), Anheuser-Busch is one of the top marketing spenders during the event, as is rival SABMiller, according to research and marketing firm Kantar Media.
Anheuser-Busch said this would be the first non-Super Bowl staging of the Bud Light Hotel, which has been at the past five Super Bowls.
"For the past five years, Bud Light Hotel has been the premier party destination at Super Bowl,” Rob McCarthy, vp-Bud Light, said in a statement. “Now we’re expanding Bud Light Hotel and bringing the best parties and first-class entertainment to a different stage.”
Bud Light said it would transform to the Bud Light Hotel, open to people of legal drinking age, from April 5-8 to coincide with the Final Four, being held in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, on April 5 and April 7.
The revamped location will include such features as the Bud Light Platinum Lounge and the Bud Light Lime Poolside deck and will be stocked with Bud Light-branded signage, pillows, soaps and key cards.
Planned events include the Bud Light Watch Party (April 5); Rolling Stone Live at the Bud Light Hotel (April 6), a VIP concert that has become a mianstay of the Bud Light Super Bowl hotels, which here will feature Empire of the Sun and New Politics; and a pre-game Bud Light Tailgate party prior to the championship game (April 7).
To help marketing the Bud Light Hotel Dallas, the brand is supporting with a Bud Light Mini Hoops Challenge tournaments in local bars and restaurants nationwide. Now through March 23, consumers 21 and older who participate in the tournament will have an opportunity to win a trip to Bud Light Hotel. (Details here.)
In addition, people of legal drinking age can also attempt to win a trip to Bud Light Hotel Dallas by playing a virtual version of the Mini Hoops Challenge via Anheuser-Busch’s Fan Zone smartphone app. (Details here.)
According to McCarthy, "With an outstanding music and entertainment lineup, we expect Bud Light Hotel Dallas to be the best place to enjoy all the action of the weekend.'
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