Verizon Center

How Budweiser Keeps it Lit in DC

How Budweiser Keeps it Lit in DC

The 2017 Stanley Cup was a fantastic opportunity for brand promotion, and Budweiser took full advantage. D.C’s Verizon Center was sold out, flashing over 10,000 Budweiser Red Light Cups. Every Capitals goal against the Maple Leafs was met with additional cup-tossing displays, giving Budweiser much-warranted attention for its pre-planned event.

Bluetooth and Booze: An Uncommon Pairing

So, how’d Budweiser coordinate it? As it turns out, Bluetooth isn’t only for gadgets, cars and high-tech home inclusions. Budweiser passed out a slew of Bluetooth-enabled cups, promoting itself for the playoffs. As hockey-lovers know, a game’s goal light is one of the much anticipated parts of any display.

By coordinating each goal, Budweiser amplified the excitement. The initiative has been a hockey program staple since 2013. That said, 2017 is the first year Budweiser incorporated its high-tech cups. Fans could bring their own cups, too, downloading the offered Budweiser Red Light app. In conjunction with its Bluetooth technology, Budweiser’s own cups were activated alongside other fan-bought containers.

Celebrating Like It’s Live

Budweiser’s ultimate goal was to create a fully integrative experience, wherein game watchers could enjoy their team’s goals from the comfort of their homes. Attendees, meanwhile, could celebrate with real-time applause. Budweiser installed 25 R.F.I.D. transmitters across the stadium, lighting up all the cups at once. Meanwhile, the brand’s Red Light controller sent a signal to each transmitter, releasing a frequency capable of setting off each cup simultaneously.

Using Social Media

Fans were urged to “Rock the Red” with the #LightUpDC hashtag. Because Red Light Cups were available at all participating concession stands, fans had ample opportunity to grab the goods. Those over age 21 were invited to post further on social media, maximizing the ceremony’s visibility. The game’s epic backdrop was, of course, a highlight.

As if that weren’t enough, the red light itself was—you guessed it—a puck-shaped RFID gadget. Fans were invited to keep the cups, saving their technology for later use—and, of course, as event memorabilia. Available as of April 15th, the cups were only available to those attending the Capitals Playoff Game 2. They were, however, available at specific concession locations for the remaining playoff games. These locations included the Etihad Lounge, the Budweiser Brewhouse and Becks Lounge at the 100, 200 and 400-level concession stands.

The Party Never Stops

As stated above, event-goers could bring home the cups, downloading their own Budweiser Red Light apps on Android and iOS. Because the gadgets could be synced up at any time, Budweiser enabled ongoing celebrations via at-home “Rock the Red” parties.

It takes effort to coordinate a highly digital event remotely. Budweiser, here, displayed the savviness of a brand which knows its customers. Sure, hockey games are notoriously watched at home. As with football, it’s important to include stay-at-home fans while giving attendees something special. The widespread fan attention worked, and Budweiser expertly pulled off an unexpectedly lit display. Parties aren’t just for party-goers. Where beer is concerned, it pays off to honor the distant celebrations—no matter how far off they may be.