Peyton Manning celebrates his victory during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.
Photograph by Patrick Smith — Getty Images
By John Kell
February 8, 2016

Quarterback Peyton Manning thrilled Denver Broncos fans on Sunday by leading the team to a third Super Bowl victory. But after the game, Budweiser parent Anheuser-Busch InBev was likely just as excited about the win.

That’s because Manning, in two separate post-game statements, said he couldn’t wait to get his hands on a Budweiser. Bloomberg reports that Manning told a CBS sideline reporter that his plan was to “drink a lot of Budweiser” after leading the Broncos to a 24-10 victory–the second Super Bowl win of his career. He also mentioned the beer again at the winner’s podium. “What’s weighing on my mind is how soon I can get a Bud Light in my mouth,” Bloomberg added.

From a branding perspective, this seemingly spontaneous affection for the beer is a coup–especially because AB InBev (bud) says it didn’t pay for the plug.

Here’s what AB InBev head of marketing communications Lisa Weser had to say about:

Budweiser also couldn’t contain its excitement. It sent the following tweet:

AB InBev is a big, traditional Super Bowl advertiser, this year paying millions to air spots for four separate sibling brands: Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob and Shock Top. The Bud Light campaign, which leaned on a political theme in a presidential election year, in particular won high praise from the Wall Street Journal and other key publications.

And while Manning wasn’t paid for name-dropping Budweiser, he may have something to gain from calling out the beer. Beer Business Daily in 2014 reported Manning has a stake in two Louisiana Anheuser-Busch distributors, though various media outlets haven’t been able to confirm that rumored detail.

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