After 50 years it’s easy enough to say that the Super Bowl is a tradition. And, another tradition spurred by the games, are the post-Super Bowl interviews with the victors. When winning quarterback Peyton Manning mentioned his desire to drink a lot of Budweiser after his Super Bowl win on Sunday night, people started talking about what seemed like an obvious promotional ploy. But, it looks like the good folks at Budweiser would like to set all those tongue-waggers straight.
[We] did not pay Peyton Manning to mention Budweiser tonight. We were surprised and delighted that he did.

Budweiser spokesperson Lisa Weser revealed via social media that the brand actually had nothing to do with Peyton Manning’s Bud-centric post-win comment. It looks like it was just a fortuitous, spontaneous moment that happened to work out very well for Budweiser.

After the big game, Peyton Manning mentioned Budweiser by name, and also later said he wanted to “drink a lot of beer tonight.” Since it’s easy to make the connection to Bud after his earlier comment, that counts as a second mention of the product. As noted by ESPN, those two unintentional product plugs were worth the equivalent of $3.2 million in advertising dollars. So, really, it’s no great shock that Budweiser was “delighted” that he gave a shout out to the brand when millions upon millions of people were watching him.

It looks like Peyton Manning has a true love for Budweiser. In 2014, after his Denver Broncos bested the San Diego Chargers in the playoffs, Manning said he wanted to “get a Bud Light” in his mouth. The man is nothing if not consistent. This might not all be a big coincidence, though. Two years ago Beer Business Daily reported that Manning had a stake in two Budweiser distributorships, but no one from Manning’s camp has confirmed that that business deal is still in place.

The 39-year-old quarterback, the oldest-ever starting quarterback in Super Bowl history, has taken good advantage of his football fame (as most popular players do). Along with other endorsements, Peyton Manning promotes the Papa John’s pizza chain, and, with partners, has owned 32 of the stores in the Denver area since 2012. His loyalty to the brand and those who run it even led him to hug Papa John’s founder John Schnatter right after the Super Bowl clock ran out. All told, Manning leads the NFL in off-the-field revenue, with around $12 million in sponsorship income.

It’s a good thing that the people at Bud stepped up and said that he wasn’t paid for the promotion. Active NFL players are barred from endorsing alcohol. Well, whether or not Peyton Manning was working in his own interest when he mentioned Budweiser, or was simply speaking right from his two-time Super Bowl winning heart, we can never know. But, it certainly turned out well for Bud, and if he likes the brand as much as he’s said, I’m sure he’s happy about that.

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