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Marketing and Sponsorship

Mich Ultra focused on visibility, not ROI, with women’s sports commitment

By David Rumsey
Michelob Ultra's Kerry Scalora (l) said, “From a social standpoint, we're seeing that great engagement, that great feedback from other companies"David Durochik

Michelob Ultra is not necessarily expecting a positive financial return-on-investment from its $100M commitment to women’s sports over the next five years. “It’s not going to be there,” Michelob Ultra Dir of Sports Marketing Kerry Scalora said yesterday at SBJ's Brand Innovation Summit in Chicago. “Us reallocating media funds, we're pushing those into women in sports, which arguably has lower ratings, but it's not just about ROI.” Scalora added, “From a social standpoint, we're seeing that great engagement, that great feedback from other companies. … It'll be more so of us championing these athletes and our creative moving forward, always making sure that we are growing and representing the Team Ultra roster accordingly. And then, all the brands coming on for it too and being along with us for the ride.” After the announcement in August, Michelob Ultra received a breadth of positive feedback from the industry, including many of the male athletes the brand sponsors. “They partner with us because we are here to bring the joy and they wanted to be able to be a part of that,” Scalora said. “So, they recognize that the joy is lacking from a women's sports standpoint and their women's sports Team Ultra counterparts and they wanted to do their best to make it happen.”

HAND IN HAND: Moving forward, Michelob Ultra is making sure women are equally represented with men across campaigns and advertisements, and that includes the brand's commercial during Super Bowl LVI in February. "It's been good for us to hold ourselves accountable," Scalora said. And while the $100M overall figure certainly raised some eyebrows, Scalora said Michelob Ultra execs never pushed back on signing off. "We're already spending that," she said. "We're just reallocating it into a space that matters."

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