On March 12, 2020, the sports world went dark. Sports leagues across North America shuttered their seasons indefinitely. One day later, Donald Trump declared a national emergency.
Since then we have all been touched in one way or another by the pandemic sweeping the globe. The coronavirus has changed the way we live our lives. And in turn, it’s also changed our view. Our heroes have shifted from being the greatest athletes and celebrities to being everyday citizens that we once took for granted. Our doctors, our nurses, our neighbors, our friends. Our grocery store clerks, our first responders, our teachers.
And Budweiser, known for its iconic Clydesdale commercials, has veered off the hoof-beaten path in celebration of today’s real MVPs. They have just released a new ad, entitled “One Team.” A salute to all of those fighting this epidemic, together. Because this season? We are ALL on the home team.
Grab the tissues, folks. This Bud’s for you.
The 1-minute, 18-second commercial is filmed mostly in black and white. It seamlessly references our favorite sports teams while poignant color images of everyday Americans turned hero, flash across the screen.
The commercial opens with an aerial shot of a dark and empty Yankees Stadium, followed by empty downtown streets. Music plays in the background. As the narrator begins speaking, a picture of a healthcare worker dressed in blue scrubs and donning a face mask appears. Next is a shot of American Red Cross volunteers, wearing red vests, providing disaster relief. This is followed by a group of workers, decked out in white hazmat suits and gas masks.
The narrator recites:
This Bud’s for the Blues…
And the Warriors.
The narrator continues. He gives a shout-out to teachers (the Magic), athletes training at home (the Athletics), and the military (the Giants), while images of each fill the screen. He also references the Jazz, but not the Utah Jazz basketball team. Rather, the quarantined musicians playing from their balconies.
But the commercial doesn’t stop there.
This Bud’s for the Trailblazers…
It’s for the ordinary, who are doing the extraordinary. For the deliverymen, the transit workers, the police officers. This Bud is for all the people who are selflessly putting the needs of others before themselves, at a time when the world needs them the most.
In light of COVID-19, Budweiser is redirecting its sports and entertainment investments to its non-profit partners. According to Budweiser.com, its #OneTeam initiative will provide a $5 million donation to the American Red Cross.
As part of a $5 million donation to the American Red Cross, Anheuser-Busch alongside its sports partners will identify available arenas and stadiums to be used for temporary blood drive centers
Budweiser is also producing and distributing bottles of hand sanitizer to Red Cross blood donation centers and emergency shelters.
And they are not the only ones. Several companies have stepped up in big ways to do their part. Companies who are continuing to pay laid-off employees, giving raises to those on the front lines, and donating money and resources to fight coronavirus.
The past few weeks have brought to light the ugliest humanity has to offer. But it has also shown the best humanity has to offer as well. And it is this that we need to cling to when things seem their darkest.
When all of this is over, if we carry nothing else away, let it be this: There are so many unsung heroes among us. Heroes who silently walk through their days, without fanfare and glory. Heroes who are seen but rarely recognized. They deserve to be celebrated. Not just now, as we navigate through this unprecedented time in our history, but always.
Here’s to all of you, for ALL that you do.