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 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information