Anheuser-Busch, sports partners unite to support American Red Cross blood drives across the country
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of blood drives across the country were cancelled as schools closed and offices began transitioning to virtual work, resulting in hundreds of thousands fewer blood donations and a critical shortage of blood supply for patients in need. To help address these challenges, Budweiser, an American-style pale lager produced by Anheuser-Busch, launched their #OneTeam initiative in March – as part of a US$5m/£4.06m donation to the American Red Cross – to unite their sports partners to host blood drives at sports venues, arenas and Anheuser-Busch tour centres across the country.
“This has been an unprecedented time for our country and also a time to help take care of one another,” said Adam Warrington, Vice President of Better World at Anheuser-Busch. “Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of those in need within our communities. By bringing our partners together to support the American Red Cross, we have been able to use our relationships and reach to help save lives and provide an opportunity for many to get involved and provide a life-sustaining resource.”
Through the partnership, Anheuser-Busch and its partners have worked with the American Red Cross to develop a framework to identify new blood drive locations and help manage the new regulations necessary to keep donors and staff safe.
“By transforming Gillette Stadium to a blood drive donation centre, we have been able to provide an opportunity for our fans to help make a difference in our local community when it was needed most, “ said Chris Starck, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Kraft Sports + Entertainment.
“Partnering with Anheuser-Busch and the American Red Cross allowed us to transform an otherwise challenging time for our industry into an opportunity to educate consumers on a critical issue and encourage them to be a part of something much bigger than any one team.”
To date, the brewer and 30 of its sports team partners have hosted more than 50 blood drives across the country, collecting 3,800 units of blood to potentially save over 11,400 lives, with more drives scheduled throughout the summer and fall.
Of these donations, nearly 50% came from first-time blood donors as the programme continues to raise awareness on the critical need for blood supply and encourage individuals to step up to support their friends and neighbours in the midst of the health crisis.
“Communities across the country count on the Red Cross for help every day and we knew that even during this coronavirus crisis, that we had to remain dedicated to ensuring the safety and availability of the blood supply for patients in need,” said Chris Hrouda, President, Biomedical Services for the American Red Cross.
“Not only did Anheuser-Busch help to inspire donors across the country to give, but this relationship also provided a model for other partners coming forward to help. We’re tremendously grateful for their support.”
Anheuser-Busch and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation have a long and proud partnership with the American Red Cross dating back to 1906. This includes providing disaster relief support as a member of the Annual Disaster Giving Programme and through their emergency drinking water initiative, support of military personnel as a member of the Service to Armed Forces Giving Programme, and annual employee blood drives at their facilities. Since 2010, the company has hosted more than 350 employee blood drives, providing 11,500 units to potentially save more than 34,500 lives.