Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Peyton Manning were on opposite sidelines for more than a half-dozen years, but this season they decided to join forces on one team: Bud Light.
Smith and Manning appeared in a new "Easy Receivers" campaign for the beer brand more than two months before Super Bowl LVIII kicks off in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium.
In the commercial that dropped Friday, Manning orders a round of beer for a bar. He starts to pass around beer and then finds one patron going deep who makes a one-handed catch for the can at Smith’s feet. Smith and Manning then start firing cans at the rest of the patrons.
"We have a good time in the bar and having great fun and great laughs and enjoying that fan experience," Smith told Fox Business in a recent interview.
The commercial also kicks off the beer brand’s postseason ticket giveaway. Fans who buy the beer or show off their passion for the brand on social media enter to win playoff and Super Bowl tickets.
Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sideline during a game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh on September 4, 1994. (George Gojkovich / Getty Images)
"That overall experience is coming together from the commercial to really in the hands of fans when they scan the Bud Lights to enter to have an opportunity to win the tickets," he said.
Bud Light remained the official beer sponsor of the NFL – and the UFC for that matter – amid major blowback over the company’s marketing campaign featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year.
Emmitt Smith and Peyton Manning appear in the "Easy Receivers" campaign for Bud Light. (Bud Light)
Bud Light saw sales plunge before the start of the season because of the outrage.
Smith was asked why fans should come back to making Bud Light their beer of choice in the wake of the marketing missteps.
"It’s an iconic brand, and it’s been around sports for a long time. Every brand itself goes through iterations of highs and lows," Smith explained. "Even the Dallas Cowboys are going through iterations of highs and lows, and it’s been a low for a long period of time because we haven’t been to the NFC Championship Game, etc., etc."
"So, in this case, I think with what Bud Light is doing to engage with fans is wonderful. They’re providing them with the opportunity to do something very special, very unique. They give them a different level of experience, utilizing Peyton Manning and myself, and I think that is unique in itself because we understand the game and we played in the big game ourselves, and we can relate to some of the things that the fans will experience."