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Budweiser ‘United’ with ABC on reality show

Anheuser-Busch behind FreemantleMedia-produced skein

Anheuser-Busch InBev has inked a deal with ABC to air the reality show “Bud United presents: The Big Time” in January.

FreemantleMedia is producing the Budweiser-branded entertainment project that will unspool over seven episodes and revolve around a young group of hopefuls looking to win their chance to compete in their favorite sport, cook alongside a professional chef or get their chance to perform in concert.

Series bows Jan. 21 and airs each following Saturday.

Evan Weinstein, co-executive producer of “The Amazing Race” and @radical.media (who has created other branded entertainment projects for Nike, Sony, Intel and IBM) are producing the series, with FreemantleMedia Enterprises distributing the show worldwide. Budweiser brokered the deal with ESPN who took the show to ABC.

Budweiser cast the show by choosing from candidates who sent videos to the Budweiser page on social media sites like Facebook and China’s Renren, demonstrating their passions for basketball, baseball, soccer, racing, music and fashion.

Twenty-one contestants will compete over the series’ run with each episode focusing on a set of three fans vying for their shot at racing against other professional racecar drivers; playing for a soccer team, pitching for a professional baseball team or performing on a concert stage, for example.

Contestants were coached and mentored by celebrities and professionals including racing legends Richard Childress and Kevin Harvick, USA soccer star Alex Morgan, baseball coach Tom House and chef Hubert Keller, among others.

Budweiser has long been a major sponsor of sporting events, including last year’s FIFA World Cup, and saw the series as a way to get more mileage out of its marketing dollars. Show will air online once it airs on ABC, backed by additional content and “Big Time” tips from celebrity mentors.

“We leveraged Budweiser’s unparalleled access to international sports, entertainment and lifestyle assets to make these contestants’ dreams come true,” said Frank Abenante, VP of global brands at Anheuser-Busch InBev. “We’re looking forward to giving viewers the opportunity to share in these extraordinary journeys of second chances and ambitions fulfilled.”

Budweiser bowed “Bud United” last year as a global platform to connect consumers’ passions.

“We are particularly proud to take Budweiser to new levels, by turning current assets into branded content, brought to life with unique and exciting storytelling,” said Jason Warner, global VP, Budweiser.

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