This post has been updated.
There was a curious moment after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 and it had nothing to do with the question of whether Peyton Manning will now retire.
Instead, it was related to his choice of postgame beverage — specifically Budweiser. He mentioned drinking a lot of the Anheuser-Busch product.
“I’ll take some time to reflect. I’ve got a couple of priorities first,” he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson. “I want to go kiss my wife and my kids. I want to go hug my family. I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy, I promise you that.”
CBS’s Jim Nantz asked him to repeat that a little later and he did, but went with a generic reference to beer.
Shortly afterward, Lisa Weser, whose Twitter bio says she “leads marketing communications” for Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser, denied that Manning was plugging the product for pay from A-B or its parent company, InBev.
Hi Internet. For the record, Budweiser did not pay Peyton Manning to mention Budweiser tonight. We were surprised and delighted that he did.
— Lisa Weser (@LisaWeser) February 8, 2016
As recently as two years ago, the trade publication Beer Business Daily reported that Manning owned a stake in two Budweiser distributorships. On Sunday night, Anheuser-Busch could not confirm to ESPN whether Manning still owns part of the businesses. Why are Manning’s words an issue? Because active players are not allowed to endorse alcoholic products.
In 2014, after a playoff victory, Manning mentioned another A-B product in a press conference.
“What’s weighing on my mind,” he said then, “is how soon I can get a Bud Light in my mouth.”
His post-Super Bowl remark drew a lot of attention — and golfer Jordan Spieth was ready to hoist a few with him.