Budweiser Crowns Messi The ‘King of Football’ After Record-Breaking 644th Goal For Barcelona

To leverage its athlete endorser tie-up and celebrate his record-breaking achievement, Budweiser marked Messi’s 644th goal for Barcelona through an integrated campaign that was led by a short film, supported by social content and which included creating a limited run of 644 bottles individually numbered to represent every goal scored


The Argentinian forward’s 644th Barca goal, which broke the record previously held by Brazil legend Pele for 46 years, set a new mark for the most goals for a single club in the history of professional football.


The ABInBev owned beer brand (marketed in Spain by Mahou San Miguel) launched a campaign, created by agency Deutsch NY with support from sports and sponsorship agency Octagon, which crowned Messi as the undisputed ‘King Of Football’.


The multi-language hero video, titled ‘Kings Aren’t Made Overnight’, features the limited-edition Lionel Messi bottle custom designed to celebrate his journey to greatness.




As for the limited edition beers themselves, each of the 644 bottles was individually numbered from one to 644 to represent every goal scored and each bottle was gifted to the 159 goalkeepers Messi has scored against: including some of the greatest ever keepers like Gianluigi Buffon, David de Gea and Jan Oblak.


Each bottle recognises the ‘role’ each goaltender played in Messi’s rise to record-breaking greatness and was designed to celebrate his journey to greatness and unite fans from around the world.


“20 years ago, I began a journey determined to be the best player I can be and it has taken sacrifice and hard work to score every one of the 644 goals with the help of my teammates,” said Messi after scoring the record-braking goal. “Hopefully fans around the world will find inspiration in my story to commit to their craft no matter how hard the journey because everyone can achieve greatness if they believe in themselves.”


“Scoring 644 goals for a single club doesn’t just prove that Messi is a great footballer.” Added Deutsch NY ECD James Cowie. “It also reveals a great deal about Messi’s character – the loyalty, ambition and dedication that have always made his journey with Barcelona so unique. Yes, Messi is great on the pitch. But it’s those values that we think are the true mark of a king.”


The campaign was created for AB InBev’s Budweiser marketing team including VP Global Brands Richard Oppy, VP Global Marketing Budweiser Steve Arkley, Global Advertising Director Budweiser Andrew Oosterhuis, Global Marketing Director Budweiser Chad Lafeldt and Head of Global Partnership Marketing AB InBev Eelco van der Noll by Deutsch New York.


The agency team included Chief Creative Officer Dan Kelleher, ECD James Cowie, Creative Directors Heather English and Marques Gartrell, Senior Art Directors Jeffrey Rozman and Ashley Centrella, Senior Copywriters Chris Wernikowski and Michael Philbin, Senior Art and Senior Designer Chris Kelley.


Content production was handled by EVP & Director of Integrated Production Joe Calabrese, Senior Producer Andrea Segura, while account planning and management was run by Chief Strategy Officer Matt Baker, VP Group Strategy Director Andrew Quay, Senior Strategist Alex Rakestraw, Group Account Director Andrew Arnot, Account Director Madalyn McLane and Account Executive Hannah Duchardt.


Other members of the agency team included Project Manager Rich Gladis, Director of Integrated Business Affairs Maria Taris, Group Director of Integrated Business Affairs Stacy Schwartz and Senior Business Manager Nikki Balekjian.


Editorial and VFX was by The Mill with Executive Producer Heath Raymond, Producers Kevin Liu and Zach Fortin, Production Coordinator Katharine Mulderry, Editors Ryan McKenna and Matt Campbell, 2D Leads Keith Sullivan and Marco Baratto, Assistants Yoon-sun Bae, Kyle Cody, Taner Besen, Luke Midgley, Ben Vaccaro and 3D

Leads Kevin Ives, Tom Bardwell and Aldo Martinez Calzadilla.


The Design Director was Chet Hirsch with Creative Director Mario Stipinovich, Leads Thomas Heckel, Steven Guas, Devin Hayes and Tyler Scheitlin, with Sound Design and Mix by Barking Owl, Sound Designer Morgan Johnson, Mixer AJ Murillo, Creative Director Kelly Bayett and Producer Ashley Benton with music by Dizzee Rascal.





It was back in September 2020 that Budweiser announced a long-term partnership with Lionel Messi.


The new player/beer collaboration was introduced with a short film, also created by Deutsch New York, titled ‘They Say’ to inspire fans to never give up on greatness (see case study).


The partnership builds on Budweiser’s official partnership with Spain’s La Liga and back in July 2019 the beer brand launched a campaign leveraging its two key European football league sponsorships – La Liga and the Premier League – through an activation called ‘Beer Of Kings’.





Budweiser Spain




La Liga



Deutsch NY



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