OPINION | Views expressed in this article reflect the author's opinion.
Photo illustration of motorcycle rally via Imagine Art

Budweiser showed up with a tent at a major motorcycle event that the company sponsored in the city of Sturgis in South Dakota.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the world’s largest motorcycle rally that began in 1938 by a group of Indian Motorcycle riders. It was originally held for stunts and races.

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Social media erupted as people saw no one visiting the Budweiser tent or drinking its beer. “ZERO attendees at the Budweiser tent in Sturgis,” one person commented. “This may be the BIGGEST marketing blunder of all time!” (Poll: Should Athletes Kneel During National Anthem? VOTE)

Shocking footage shows tent after tent with row after row of empty Budweiser booths that had been set up to promote the beer. In April 2023, Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch sparked controversy bysponsoring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney by celebrating Mulvaney’s one-year anniversary of “womanhood.” Bud Light produced beer cans to honor Mulvaney’s transition from male to female, which led to nationwide boycotts.

Just one month later, in May 2023, Anheuser-Busch announced a partnership with Harley-Davidson to produce limited edition cans that emphasize “grit” and “resilience.”

Critics say this new ad was an “act of desperation” as men are seen working on a Harley and then having beers.

The commercial attempts to appeal to “manly men” as it says, “The greatest legacies are built with grit and resilience, one detail at a time. Limited edition Budweiser Harley-Davidson cans – for those who give everything to their craft. This Bud’s for you.” Many people have responded negatively to the partnership with Harley-Davidson, saying that the marketing attempt is “falling flat.” (COLLAPSING: Bud Light Parent Company Sells Off 8 Craft Brands)

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has become a pluralistic endeavor that consists of events put on by many different groups. Attendance has historically been around 500,000 people, reaching a high of over 700,000 in 2015.

The event takes place over 10 days and generates around $800 million in annual revenue.

@cycledrag Here is an upate on the Budweiser tent at Sturgis mid week #budweiser #budlight #dylanmulvaney #sturgis #sturgisrally #motorcyclesoftiktok🏍️ #motorcyclelife #budlightboycott ♬ original sound – Cycledrag

The downward spiral of Anheuser-Busch continues as the company agreed to sell eight of its craft beer brands to Tilray Brands. This will cut down the company’s craft beer portfolio.

In exchange for $85 million, a Canadian cannabis company named “Tilray” will purchase Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company and Hiball Energy. The deal is expected to be finalized in September 2023 per Tilray 8-K filing. (Poll: Is Joe Biden Fit to be President? VOTE)

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Anheuser-Busch isn’t simply selling the brands, but also the brands’ employees, breweries, and associated brewpubs.

Anheuser-Busch also announced it has begun significant layoffs following the nationwide backlash and boycotts against the company. The beer company has laid off roughly 350 employees. It’s unclear if more layoffs are incoming as company sales have tanked. So far, Anheuser-Busch has reportedly fired 2% of its U.S. workforce, primarily in corporate and marketing roles.

With the historic collapse of Bud Light, other brands are looking to expand their market share and staff. Conservative job hunter RedBalloon and patriotic online marketplace PublicSq. are offering to help unemployed Bud Light workers find work at “pro-America businesses.”

“We’re sorry that Anheuser-Busch leadership prioritized left-wing ideology over sound business practices,” an open letter stated from RedBalloon. “You are the ones that suffer for Bud Light’s disastrous decision.”

“People like to say ‘go woke, go broke’ and in reality, the economic consequences rarely fall on the wealthy liberals that make the woke decision. Both PublicSq. and Red Balloon will distribute your resumes to our respective networks of tens of thousands of pro-America businesses,” the letter added.