The University of Iowa will soon have a much more prominent relationship with Anheuser-Busch. The new four-year agreement will allow the beer maker to use the tiger hawk logo on retails displays for four types of beer. Critics say the marketing deal will only hurt the school's efforts to stop binge drinking on campus.
The University of Iowa has prided itself on its drink responsibly campaign. Back in 2009 it even criticized the sale of bud light black and gold "fan cans". University of Iowa president Sally Mason called on Budweiser to recall the black and gold cans.
“We have for some time been very concerned about the serious issue of underage and binge drinking on this campus and nationwide. Your promotion is a step backward and will only serve to exacerbate this major student health and safety problem. We are very disappointed in your decision to use this marketing strategy.”
When officials were asked, what changed in the past 3 years, a school spokesman said "nothing,” but back then, the Anheuser-Busch promotion was "unapproved" and the university wasn't being paid. The school says the proceeds from the latest deal will fund alcohol awareness programs.
“This is a logical and proactive extension of our commitments both as an institution and athletics to continue to express the importance of legal safe and responsible consumption,” said the Associate Athletics Director Rick Klatt.
Anytime the tiger hawk symbol is used the logo 'responsibility matters' must accompany it. The university also has the final say on how the logo is used and what products it’s printed on.
“A consumer may walk into a Hy-Vee grocery store or a Kum and Go store or a Casey’s or whatever and they will be reminded by a tiger hawk that it’s great to be a Hawkeye of course but also but our anticipation is that you will participate and drink responsibly,” said Klatt.
Anheuser-Busch and Hawkeye Sports Properties have a 20-year business relationship. Some things remain the same in the new contract, like 30 second radio commercials inside radio broadcasts and tickets to games.