Former pro football star J.J. Watt is the new face of Miller Lite’s football program, the brand said today.
Watt, a three-time defensive player of the year and five-time pro bowler who played 12 seasons in Houston and Arizona, will star in a new ad that debuts this week and plays off his jersey number, 99, while giving legal-age drinkers a chance to win Miller Lite.
“J.J. embodies football and, just like Miller Lite, he’s from Wisconsin,” said Anne Pando, Miller Lite’s marketing director. “And he’s a true Miller Lite fan who’s as beloved for what he did on the field as for what he does off the field. We couldn’t be more excited for J.J. to be Miller Lite’s newest teammate.”
In addition to the new spot, Watt is lending his likeness to retail tools, including a life-size standee, which will augment Miller Lite’s existing football program that includes themed packaging and alliances with 16 pro teams.
Big plans for football
Miller Lite, whose sales volume grew 19% for the 13 weeks that ended Sept. 3, according to Circana multi-outlet and convenience store data, is ready to tackle football season. In addition to its broad roster of alliance teams, it’s renewed its partnership with ESPN’s fantasy football app, which is also featured on secondary packaging for its pints.
Through its sponsorship of ESPN’s top-rated fantasy app, as well as other fantasy football podcasts, ESPN fantasy football-themed packaging and a renewed partnership with DraftKings and its betting platform, Miller Lite is aiming to own more than just game day.
“If we’ve learned anything from our work with ESPN, it’s that game day is every day, whether you’re setting a roster, analyzing results, ribbing friends or watching a game – hopefully with a Miller Lite in hand,” Pando says. “There are Miller Time moments Monday through Sunday.”