The Washington Commanders are now one of six NFL teams to not be individually sponsored by Anheuser-Busch after the brewing company confirmed that it cut ties with the Burgundy and Gold ahead of next season.
Anheuser-Busch said in a statement that it decided not to renew its sponsorship of the Commanders “at this time,” making them the third sponsor the franchise has lost within the last year. The company did not give a reason for the decision, though it comes as the Commanders’ sexual misconduct scandal remains ongoing.
Anheuser-Busch is a key NFL sponsor as it is the official beer provider of the league. The brewing company also individually sponsors 26 teams and more than 25 players, including Washington’s Taylor Heinicke.
“Anheuser-Busch has decided not to renew its sponsorship of the Washington Commanders team at this time,” the company said. “We remain fully committed to Washington football fans, and we look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with the NFL and our other 26 team partners to create meaningful experiences and connections for fans across the country.”
Washington joins the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers as teams not sponsored by the company. Anheuser-Busch renewed its contract with the NFL in December.
In the past year, health care provider Inova and medical bill company Medliminal have also ended their relationships with the Commanders.
Last April, Inova ended its agreement with the team just five years into a reported 10-year contract — saying in a statement that it was discontinuing its medical team’s role as the team’s physicians immediately and would no longer sponsor the team after the 2021 season. Inova’s Dr. Robin West previously served as the team’s director of medicine.
The split came as Dwight Schar, whose name bares on Inova’s cancer facility, was entangled in an ugly legal battle with Washington owner Dan Snyder. Snyder eventually bought out Schar and two other of the team’s minority shareholders for $875 million.
In February, a team spokesperson confirmed Medliminal would not be renewing its sponsorship for the 2022 season. The medical company told Boycott Dan, a fan-created website aimed at urging sponsors to cut ties with the Commanders and Snyder, in an email that it was “sincerely disappointed” in the Commanders’ response to the “facts and allegations surrounding their allegations.”
On Friday, a Commanders spokesperson said the team was in the process of searching for a new beer sponsor.
“We’re exploring options in the alcohol category and looking for a strategic partner that will join us in the next era of Washington Football, as we play our first season as the Washington Commanders and prepare to develop a new venue,” the spokesperson said. “The team believes there is tremendous upside in the alcohol sponsorship category for the Commanders.”
The NFL’s investigation into Snyder continues as the league announced last month that it would be launching a new probe after former employee Tiffani Johnston told members of Congress that Snyder once touched her thigh underneath a table and tried to coax her into his limo during a work dinner. Snyder has denied the accusations, though the league hired investigator Mary Jo White to conduct the probe.
Congress’ review of the NFL is also ongoing. The House Oversight and Reform Committee launched their own inquiry into the league and Washington last fall after the league faced renewed criticism for not releasing a written report of its investigation into Washington’s sexual misconduct.