Peyton Manning Tosses Budweiser Some Free Press

February 8, 2016, 4:55 PM UTC
during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.
during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.
Photograph by Patrick Smith — Getty Images

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.