Business Spotlight: Budweiser and the NFL Tackle Clean Energy

Football? Beer? Clean energy?

As you settle in to watch the big game this weekend, keep your eyes peeled for a commercial from domestic beer stalwart Budweiser.

The rather charming and beautiful spot opens with a dalmatian, its ears and jowls rippling against a gust of air as Bob Dylan’s iconic “Blowin’ in the Wind” plays. The camera pans down to reveal the dog riding atop a carriage pulled by the famous Clydesdales as the sun is setting. Finally, the shot sweeps through amber grains and alongside the dusty tracks beneath the horses’ hooves, then swings around to close with a wide shot of a breathtaking, rolling landscape dotted with several large wind turbines.

It ends with the tagline, “Now brewed with wind power for a better tomorrow.”

It really is quite spectacular filmmaking. If you can’t wait, watch the preview here; you certainly won’t be alone as it has already garnered nearly 14 million views.

The ad was launched to promote the fact that Anheuser-Busch has pledged to brew all of its lines using 100% renewables, and Budweiser is the first of their products to hit the target. The company has committed that every Budweiser around the world will be brewed with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. It claims this will be the equivalent of the potential impact is equivalent to taking 48,000 passenger vehicles off the road every year.

It’s an ambitious goal in such a short time, but they have a head start because the company already owns a 60,000-acre, 300-megawatt wind farm outside Billings, Oklahoma, at their Thunder Ranch property. The 120 wind turbines there generate enough energy to brew every Budweiser consumed in the United States.

For its part, the National Football League just joined the Green Sports Alliance in 2018. Several NFL teams and venues have been members of the alliance for years, and now the league has committed to environmental stewardship and engagement.  And like so many other American businesses, the NFL recognizes that clean energy is not only a good thing to do, it could save substantial sums of money in the process.

For example, Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, generates enough on-site power to cover four times what it uses during a season of home games thanks to its 1,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines.

Not only that, but the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta where this year’s Super Bowl takes place, is a Platinum LEED-certified building that hosts over 4,000 solar panels that produce more than 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. That’s enough to power more home games than the Falcons play during the regular season!

And just in case you were wondering, the notoriously taciturn Bob Dylan has never spoken about wind energy publicly. But allowing one of his most well-known songs to be used in a commercial for wind energy isn’t the first time he has signaled his support:  Wind turbines in the California desert are featured prominently during his harmonica solo in his 1990 music video “Unbelievable” (2:06-2:23).

So, to paraphrase Dylan’s timeless song: The answer, our friends, is blowin’ in the wind…and solar…and hydropower—you get the idea.  Voters seem to agree: 81 percent polled stated that they would vote for a candidate who supports clean energy development.

Take a look at our Business Spotlight series for more stories on how American companies are changing the way they do business by pursuing clean energy solutions.

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