Keystone Light inks summer partnership with USO, launches Americana packs

Keystone Light is heading into the summer selling season with the relaunch of its Americana program, this year with a new partner: the USO.

As part of its Americana packaging launching this month, the light beer will include the USO logo on 15-packs, 24-packs and 30-packs in an effort to help raise awareness for the military charity, which has more than 230 locations in 31 states and 15 countries to support service members and military families around the world.

The campaign, which launched last week and will run through July Fourth, will feature retail displays, targeted out-of-home and a paid social and digital media campaign. The USO-marked packs launch nationally starting around Memorial Day weekend and are expected to remain in market until mid-July.

Via its paid digital campaign, Keystone is backing the charity with a series of videos that shine a spotlight on the USO’s programming and services and encourage people to support the charity's mission. The brand is also donating $100,000 and promotional poker sets and playing cards that will be included in the USO’s USO2GOkits, which are delivered to service members stationed in remote locations.

“Keystone Light’s goal is to keep downtime light and fun, a mission shared by the USO for active service members,” says Josh Wexelbaum, marketing director of the MillerCoors economy brands portfolio. “This shared purpose inspired us to work with the USO to evolve this year’s Americana program and give us a chance to give back to those who serve our country.”

The USO provides entertainment, expeditionary and family programs as well as transition resources for military spouses and service members as they return to civilian life.

“The USO’s mission is to keep our service members strong, and we do that by keeping them connected to the things they hold dear and that remind them of home,” said Chad Hartman, USO vice president of development and corporate alliances. “Through this partnership with Keystone, we are doing more than delivering kits to service members who are deployed to some of the most remote places around the world. We are giving them a piece of home that will provide comfort, fun and laughter.”

MillerCoors, which employs hundreds of veterans, has a long history of supporting military members and veterans. For instance:

  • The company and a distributor partner in Texas last year donated $10,000 to USO Houston as part of a charitable event held at a Houston Texans game.
  • MillerCoors hosted 180 Marines for a networking event at the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C., that helped provide resources to transition into a corporate career or entrepreneurial ventures following their service.
  • And, its Trenton Brewery shuts down for a day each year to allow employees time to create 5,000 “survival kits” in tandem with the United Way and the Cincinnati VA Medical Center.

Keystone Light, meanwhile, has had success with its Americana-themed retail programs. Last summer, for example, the summer program boosted the brand’s sales velocity and helped gain displays, according to Nielsen all-outlet data from May 27 through July 8.

“Year after year, the Americana program has been one of our biggest programs and something we’ve been able to anchor our summer on,” Wexelbaum says. “When we look at our Keystone Light drinkers, 80% of them buy brands they feel match their beliefs and share their values. Among those, 60% are deeply patriotic. We wanted to make sure we showed them that we share those values.”