It's nothing new to see big beer companies sponsoring sports teams, sporting events or even outright owning venues. Bud Lite controls a considerable percentage of the marketing for most of the major sporting events out there (read the NBA and MLB). They're even going to take over the NFL soon. However, Miller has chosen to go a different route with their marketing altogether.
Who is Miller sponsoring? What multimillion-dollar enterprise are they putting their name behind? Well, you can stop looking at major sports teams – Miller's efforts have nothing to do with ball fields, ball teams or ballparks. Instead, they're betting on a different type of sponsorship. They're willing to sponsor you.
What's this? Yes, Miller has chosen to sponsor the average, everyday person, as opposed to putting their name behind ball players. There's even a contract that you can sign:
I, [STATE YOUR NAME], hereby commit to living the highest possible form of the High Life in any and all situations. I pledge never to willingly participate in non-High Life-like activities, including but not limited to: male bathing suit shopping, goatee dying, embroidered golf shirt collar popping, wallet-mirror carrying, denim pant leg rolling, unnecessary nail manicuring, or pet portrait painting. Most importantly, I will uphold my sense of common sense and use it authoritatively when called for to maintain my responsibility to unashamedly, undeniably, and unabashedly live the High Life.
The sponsorship also lets you buy "official" sponsorship merchandise like mugs and other swag branded with the Miller High Life logo and your name. Once you've signed the contract, you've got a sponsorship with the company. They'll even pay you a dollar as a signing bonus. If that sounds a little strange, don't worry. It actually makes plenty of sense from a marketing standpoint and shows where the company's true loyalties lie – with their customers.
Will this particular marketing plan work out well for Miller? Actually, while the company is not necessarily as highly ranked as Bud and others out there, it really could do some good. As mentioned, it does show they're more interested in those who drink their beer, and the savings over paying for sports sponsorships can be put back into the company, into their beer and into their customers. So, in the long run, it might just be pure genius. Then again, it could just be a short-term marketing ploy, but it's interesting, if nothing else.