Distiller Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser is joining its sports partners to help deal with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis by repurposing its plants and logistics network to produce hand sanitizer and utilise disused stadiums as blood donation centres for the American Red Cross.
The brewer has pledged to donate $5m to the non-profit organisation as it redeploys cash earmarked for sports and entertainment toward containing the outbreak, as well as allocating its media airtime toward relaying public service announcements.
Michel Doukeris, chief executive of Anheuser-Busch US, said: “Covid-19 has changed how we all live our lives, but it hasn’t changed Anheuser-Busch’s priorities and our commitments as an employer, a business partner and a corporate citizen.
"While we can’t solve this crisis on our own, we are proud to do what we can to serve and support our communities in need and the heroes on the front lines, using our capabilities, our relationships, and our reach to do our part. We invite other companies to use their unique capabilities to join us in this effort, however, they can so that together we can make a difference.”
As part of its mobilization AB InBev brand Budweiser has released One Team, a patriotic spot honouring ordinary Americans who have risen to the coronavirus challenge by continuing to serve their communities throughout the outbreak.
The pandemic has already ushered in profound changes to AB InBev’s business, which has already absorbed a near $300m financial hit from the virus, not accounting for the worsening situation through March.