Case Study: Budweiser Sponsors The FIFA 2018 World Cup

For the latest influencer marketing news, resources, and case studies, subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: Budweiser Sponsors The FIFA 2018 World Cup

Budweiser is one of the most recognizable beer brands in the world. Owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the multinational beverage conglomerate, Budweiser has a long history of sponsoring sports franchises, professional sporting events, and individual players. Past Budweiser sponsorships include the National Football League, British Basketball League, NASCAR, and Super Bowl.

Budweiser premiered an international influencer marketing campaign to tie into its sponsorship of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. FIFA and Anheuser-Busch InBev have a longstanding partnership dating back to the World Cup in 1986; Budweiser will also be the official alcohol supplier of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. The beer brand partnered with YouTube stars, professional soccer players, and media personalities to create branded reaction videos on Instagram.

Budweiser Partners With Instagram Influencers: #ReactionChallenge World Cup Campaign

Budweiser launched an Instagram-based influencer marketing campaign to cement its brand sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup. This sponsored content took the form of reaction videos, a style of video where someone films their emotional reaction to an event (e.g. watching the premier of a beloved TV show, listening to a presidential speech). Budweiser looked to engage with soccer fans worldwide as they tuned into the World Cup matches in the summer of 2018.


  • Connect globally to consumers via the excitement of the World Cup
  • Establish brand awareness of Budweiser as the Official Beer of the FIFA World Cup


  • Budweiser launched the #ReactionChallenge campaign as a component of a giant international sponsorship for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
  • Budweiser chose influencers with a global audience, emphasizing Latin America, a region where soccer is the most popular sport

Budweiser partnered with celebrities and social media influencers to film World Cup reaction videos:

  • Hannah Stocking – Popular YouTuber and model from Los Angeles who originally rose to fame on Vine.
  • Lele Pons – Venezuelan-American YouTuber, actress, singer, and former star on Vine.
  • Rudy Manusco – Internet personality, YouTuber, and actor known for his comedic videos.
  • Dani Alves – Professional Brazilian soccer player which a huge social media following.
  • Fernanda Souza – Brazilian actress and television host who is a household name in Brazil.

Budweiser used the hashtag #ReactionChallenge to encourage fans to share their own reaction videos while watching the game.

Related Post: Top 10 Hispanic & Latino Social Media Influencers [Infographic]


  • Social Reach: Content from this campaign received over 59 million views on Instagram. The total following of the Instagram influencers combined was more than 123 million followers.
  • Social Engagement: The sponsored videos within this campaign generated the following engagement on Instagram:
    • 6.6+ million likes
    • 74,000+ comments
    • 1,900+ fan reaction videos using the hashtag #ReactionChallenge. Fans shared videos showcasing their reaction to viewing the FIFA World Cup while drinking Buds.

Shots Studio’s Social Media Stars: Lele Pons, Rudy Manusco, and Hannah Stocking

Budweiser partnered with three social media famous YouTubers from the Shots Studio network: Hannah Stocking, Lele Pons, & Rudy Manusco.

Hannah Stocking and Lele Pons produced two videos each and Rudy Manusco created four videos around the “Reaction Challenge” theme — each creator and other members of Shots Studio appeared in each other’s videos. Each creator published one longer, professionally produced video and a series of shorter, more informal videos around this campaign.

The videos showcased these internet personalities hanging out with a group of friends while drinking beer and watching the televised soccer tournaments. These funny, off-the-wall videos appeal to younger generations of fans and share the same style of the other types of videos that made each of them famous.

Brazilian Superstars Partner With Budweiser

Budweiser also secured partnerships with two notable Brazilian personalities, professional soccer star Dani Alves and actress Fernanda Souza. Alves and Souza each posted two reaction videos with Brazilian captions. Like the Shots Studios videos, each video depicted them watching a FIFA game and reacting with excitement about the gameplay.


Both Alves and Souza are significant cultural figures in Brazil with widespread popularity, making them mainstream choices for brand ambassadors. Soccer is a hugely popular sport in Brazil and a huge part of Brazil’s national identity. The Brazilian team holds the record for the most World Cup wins of any team and they are the only team to participate in every World Cup competition since the tournament was established. Budweiser strategically chose to partner with Brazilian celebrities who are household names in the region.

Related Posts: 20 Biggest Soccer Stars To Follow On Instagram


  • Influencers who partnered with Budweiser generated millions of social engagements, helping to foster the excitement for the 2018 World Cup.
  • The #ReactionChallenge generated more than 1,900 fan created World Cup game reaction videos, further amplifying their message.

Budweiser launched the #ReactionChallenge Instagram campaign as part of a massive global sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup franchise. AB InBev’s World Cup sponsorship is its largest campaign to date in terms of investment and international reach. Budweiser launched a series of TV ads for its “Light Up the FIFA World Cup,” which featured Budweiser Red Light Cups, beer containers which glow when the fans cheer using noise-activated LED lights.

Besides the #LightItUp campaign, Budweiser also sponsored the Man of the Match trophy, which is given to an honorary MVP of each World Cup match. In addition, AB InBev launched a campaign for Bud Light in which is promised to buy beer for all of California if the Mexican soccer team, El Tri, makes it to their fifth game of the tournament.

Budweiser’s Instagram influencer marketing campaign sought to bring in an international audience of all ages through its choice of brand partners. Beer is a natural match for World Cup Sponsorship – enjoying the game with friends and drinks is a universal experience for sports spectators. Alcoholic beverages are consumed in many settings: at home, at a bar, or at a stadium watching the game. This allows Budweiser the ability to promote the beverage with versatility and playfulness.

“As the most watched sporting event on the planet, the FIFA World Cup is the ultimate opportunity for Budweiser, the world’s most enjoyed beer, to connect with billions of passionate football fans globally,” said Miguel Patricio, CMO of AB InBev.