Michelob Ultra aims to build hype (and an outdoor gym)

The light beer brand is supporting its second virtual Ultra Night Run by incentivizing training wherever someone is.

Michelob Ultra is urging Canadians to run with a campaign promoting the latest iteration of its Ultra Night Run – and a new partnership it hopes will fire up their competitive spirits.

The event, which is returning for a fourth year with its second as a virtual-only affair, “embodies our core values as a brand,” says Mike Bascom, senior marketing director for Michelob Ultra Canada. The light beer is one of the fastest growing in the “better for you” category and espouses a “live fit, live fun” brand philosophy, with which the run aligns.

The 5k and 10K run has typically been an in-person event along a neon-lit course, ending in a celebration at a beer garden.

“This annual event is a way for us to rally our community for the shared experience of getting active, with the added element of being an overall fun experience,” he adds.

But having to go virtual for a second year, Michelob has built upon the foundations it laid in previous years through a new partnership with outdoor exercise equipment manufacturer TrekFit, which is raising the stakes for participants by offering to build an outdoor gym in a community in need within the province with the highest per capita participation in the event, tracked via the event’s partner app, Strava.

“Outdoor workout options have been emphasized given the pandemic, and we recognized the importance of having outdoor fitness facilities available to communities as we adjust to the changing landscape,” says Bascom.

The app will track runners whether they participate “on their treadmill, the streets or anywhere in between,” says Bascom. For any ribbon-shaped route run via the app from Aug. 25 to Oct. 17 – including runs tracked during the event itself – Michelob Ultra will make a contribution toward the outdoor gym.

The goal was to make it so “whether you’re training, looking for a great way to get outside or simply just want to start running, you can easily do so while contributing to a great cause,” he says.

Michelob Ultra is promoting the event through Strava, as well as on Spotify, OOH, influencer and media relations, targeted OLV and social.