Why Anheuser-Busch Is Right: MLB Opening Day Should be a National Holiday

MLB Opening Day is less than two weeks away, and one company wants to change how Americans celebrate it.

Mar 22, 2014 at 9:40AM

"MLB Opening Day is more than just the beginning of the season. It's an American tradition." These are just a few of the words in Anheuser-Busch Inbev's (NYSE:BUD) new petition that asks the White House to make the start of baseball season a national holiday. With only a few thousand more signatures required for an official response, what should the Obama Administration do?

The financial implications are huge
Any time a multi-billion dollar company creates a marketing campaign with TV spots, digital ads, and the support of Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, one can assume it's for more than just goodwill. In this case, the financial implications are huge.

Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser is the official beer of the MLB, a sponsorship that's worth $40 million per season by some estimates, probably more. The brewer's annual endorsement deal with the Chicago Cubs alone is in the low eight figures, and that's just one team. In addition to individual arrangements with more than 20 other clubs, Anheuser-Busch sponsors the league's Opening Week festivities -- hence the Opening Day tie-in.

How the world's largest brewer -- and the economy -- benefit
If the start of baseball season were to become a national holiday, the company would benefit in two ways. First, and perhaps most obviously, Opening Day television viewership -- whether it's from the couch or local bar -- should improve.

Despite some intriguing match-ups, recent TV ratings have been far from desirable. Last year's MLB opener, for instance, drew fewer viewers than a typical mid-summer game. By giving fans the ability to miss work for Opening Day, more eyeballs would see Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser ads, which appear in-stadium and during commercial breaks.

Budweiser

Budweiser roof at Wrigley Field. Dave Herholz, Flickr. 

It's also possible fans would buy more beer. According to Nielsen, nine of the 10 biggest beer-buying days in the U.S. are either national or cultural holidays -- the Super Bowl is the only sporting event to make the list.

Whether it's because most employers grant these days off, or employees stay home the following day, the numbers don't lie. Holidays correlate with beer consumption. If Opening Day became one, it's likely more fans would sip on a cold one as a result. And that's not only good for Anheuser-Busch, it's good for the entire alcoholic beverage industry, which contributes more than $400 billion to the American economy each year.

What should the White House do?
Assuming the petition gets the necessary 100,000 signatures to elicit a response (it's currently about 6,000 shy), I have two words for the White House: consider it. Although baseball isn't the country's most popular sport, it continues to be "America's pastime" because of powerful regional fan support. A holiday designation could provide the ratings boost it needs.

Of course, anytime a work force is given a day off en masse, there's potential for a resulting loss in productivity. If this is a fear of the administration, it would be smart to simply replace an existing holiday with Opening Day. Columbus Day is the best candidate -- it arguably has the lowest sentimental value of its peers, and it doesn't stimulate consumption in quite the same way as a slate of baseball games does.

Beer sales aside, another reason to make Opening Day a holiday is rather simple: Plenty of fans already skip work for it. Anheuser-Busch reports over 20 million say they've "played hooky" for the start of MLB season, so imagine how many haven't admitted to doing so.

The next step for you
Even if you don't like the taste of beer, you can still profit from business analysis like this. The key for your future is to turn business insights into portfolio gold through smart and steady investing ... starting right now. Those who wait on the sidelines are missing out on huge gains and putting their financial futures in jeopardy. The Motley Fool is offering a new special report, an essential guide to investing, which includes access to top stocks to buy now. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Jake Mann has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers