Bud Lobbies Obama For MLB Opening Day Official Holiday

Major League Baseball sponsor Budweiser has recruited Hall Of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith to front the 30-day campaign to turn MLB Opening Day into an official national holiday.


The former shortstop is heading out on a campaign trail to gather the necessary signatures needed to take the proposal to Washington DC.


If Budweiser can sign up 100,000 fans (over the age of 21) within 30 days it will ensure Obama’s White House administration gives the initiative administrative review and response.


The league’s beer partner launched the drive a month before the new season is scheduled to start and aim to drive consumers to sign the online petition at either www.WhiteHouse.gov or www.Budweiser.com/OpeningDay.


In addition to its own, particularly shareable campaign website, the activation is led by a set of Ozzie Smith led videos exploring the national significance of baseball’s Opening Day.



These online films will roll out through the month and are hosted on Budweiser’s webpage.


Smith, a 13-time Gold Glove Award winner currently working as a guest coach at the St Louis Cardinals Spring Training camp, is introduced each year at the Cardinal’s first home game as part of the team’s Opening Day tradition of saluting its Hall of Famers.


‘There are 22 million people who have, some point in time, played hooky from work or school, so it’s already an unofficial holiday,’ argued Smith. ‘We’re just trying to make it an official holiday by getting those 100,000 signatures so I can march them up to the front of the White House.’


To drive signatures, Budweiser just launched an online video series featuring Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, along with an ad campaign across ESPN.comMLB.com and other websites.


Within eight hours of being posted, the petition had 7,000 signatures and its total currently has more than 60,000 sign-ups.


The beer partner has also announced that it will help all spectators celebrate Opening Day by serving day-fresh draught beer in all MLB stadiums that sell Anheuser-Busch products.




This may be a ‘long shot’, ‘tongue-in-cheek’ initiative, but surely it is an idea that could have been applied by any number of sponsors to many many properties across the world.


After all, who doesn’t want another national holiday?


The Budweiser petition isn’t the most far fetched campaign to appear on the WhiteHouse.gov’s ‘We the People’ section since Obama’s administration introduced petitions in late 2011. That honour might go to the effort to force the US government to construct a Star Wars Death Star.


Following the brand’s Super Bowl social success earlier in February, this baseball strategy again sees Budweiser appeal directly to sports fans and leverage its own long term relationship with America’s game.


Indeed, in 2012 Anheuser-Busch signed a deal with MLB to ensure that Budweiser remained the official beer of Major League Baseball until 2018 – continuing a partnership that has already lasted more than 30 years.


‘Budweiser and baseball have gone hand-in-hand ever since both were born in the 1800s,’ said Budweiser brand marketing director Tom Kraus.


‘Budweiser has been there for every major milestone — every record-setting event, home run and no-hitter — making it the only brand that can authentically put forth a movement of this magnitude. We can think of no better way to honor America’s National Pastime than by observing the day and encouraging everyone to celebrate with friends, family and fellow baseball fans.’




Budweiser ‘Opening Day’ Initial Film YouTube



Budweiser ‘Opening Day’ Website



White House Petition Website



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