Bud Light will sponsor Zach Bryan’s North American Quittin’ Time arena and stadium tour that kicks off March 6 at Chicago’s United Center.
The move builds on Bud Light’s partnership with Bryan that launches tonight (Feb. 9) as the singer/songwriter kicks off the second year of the Bud Light Backyard Tour with a concert at the Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas as part of the beer brand’s Super Bowl LVIII activities.
“I’ve been drinking Bud Light since I was old enough to drink and partnering with them now after all the songs I’ve written while swigging them is full circle for me,” said Bryan in a statement in November when the Super Bowl concert was announced. “When Bud Light asked if I would be involved, I didn’t hesitate after I learned the immense amount of support going into Folds of Honor, fallen service members, first responders’ families and loved ones. It is a privilege and honor to provide help in any way to veterans and all the people who make this country as great as it can possibly be.”
Bud Light launched its Backyard Tour concert series last summer with shows by Midland, One Republic and Dashboard Confessional, among others. “We wanted to go bigger in 2024 and I don’t think you can get any bigger in country music than Zach Bryan right now,” says Todd Allen, Bud Light’s vp of marketing.
Bryan was named Billboard’s Top New Artist of 2023, landing No. 1s on both the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart and Hot 100 songs survey. Bryan, who charts on both the rock and country charts, is the first country act to be the year’s Top New Artist since Billboard began compiling the Top New Artists category, combining performance on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100, in 1977.
As the exclusive beer partner for the 78-show Quittin’ Time tour, Bud Light will execute a number of tie-ins at concert dates, including sampling, ticket giveaways and experiential activations.
One of the primary elements of the partnership involves Folds of Honor, a non-profit that provides scholarships to the families of fallen and disabled service members and first responders. Bud Light’s parent, Anheuser-Busch, has worked with Folds of Honor for more than 14 years, donating more than $22 million to the organization. “Throughout the duration of the tour, we will be donating a portion of the proceeds from Bud Light sold to Folds of Honor,” Allen says. He adds that Bud Light is working through the details with Bryan, who served in the Navy for eight years, on his participation with Folds of Honor. “He’s been an incredible partner to help bring this to life,” he says.
“Music has been in Bud Light’s DNA for decades and we’ve always been at the center of delivered epic experiences. We’ve had amazing partnerships over the years across music, across sports, across culture. And then this just makes sense,” Allen says of the Bryan tie-in. “Zach has been a longtime Bud Light fan and drinker. Having him be part of our Bud Light Backyard Tour with the Super Bowl show on Friday night is incredible and we look forward to continuing to bring great experiences to our fans in partnership with the Quittin Time tour.”
The alliances with Bryan, one of country music’s biggest rising stars, comes at a time when Bud Light continues to recover from the backlash and sales hit the brand took starting last April after aligning with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Kid Rock, John Rich and Travis Tritt condemned the brand (though Kid Rock was seen drinking a Bud Light in August). Other country acts, like Bryan, stood up for the transgender community, while superstar Garth Brooks declared in June that his Friends in Low Places bar in Nashville would sell Bud Light.
When asked how linking with Bryan could help Bud Light regain country fans it may have lost, Allen said, “We’re here for all 21+ Americans and we care deeply about all of our fans. Music, and country music in particular, allows us to connect with millions of people out there who enjoy Bud Light in stadiums, bars and venues across the country. Partnering with Zach Bryan, one of the hottest names in country music, is just a great opportunity for us to continue to connect with our fans across country music.”
Bud Light’s music activities for 2024 include tie ins with Stagecoach and Lollapalooza, as well as a country music program with Live Nation.