AB InBev brands were dominant at the 2022 Clio Sports Awards on Thursday night, winning seven of the 11 Grand Clios that were awarded—split among four campaigns for Michelob Ultra and Corona.
Michelob Ultra's "McEnroe vs McEnroe" by FCB New York led the way with three Grands, followed by Corona's "Plastic Fishing Tournament" by We Believers with two. Each brand picked up one more Grand through work by Wieden+Kennedy and VMLY&R Commerce.
Atlético de Madrid, Buffalo Wild Wings, Adidas Football and Decathlon Canada won the other Grands. In addition to the Grand trophies, FCB New York was named Agency of the Year, Michelob Ultra was Brand of the Year (for the second straight year), and the Los Angeles Rams were Team of the Year.
See more below info on the 11 Grand-winning campaigns, and see all the 2022 Clio Sports honorees—including gold, silver and bronze winners—at Clios.com.
Michelob Ultra, 'McEnroe vs McEnroe'
Grand Clio: Integrated Campaign
Grand Clio: Innovation
Grand Clio: Branded Content
Entrant Company: FCB New York
FCB New York and Michelob Ultra picked up three Grand Clios—in Integrated Campaign, Innovation and Branded Content—for their "McEnroe vs McEnroe" campaign, in which 2022 John McEnroe got to face off against five younger versions of himself, thanks to some remarkable tech.
Every move from the McEnroe avatars was synchronized with an intricate robotic-return system, allowing the tennis star to play his avatar selves for real. The campaign included a CRM callout, a VIP premiere with press and influencers, and calls-to-action across PR, digital trade, social, influencer, broadcast integrations and TVC encouraging consumers to tune into a one-hour special on ESPN linear and streaming (which the network provided for free).
With over 120 media placements, the sentiment was summed up by Sports Illustrated ("This could be the future of sports") and Yahoo! ("Reinventing sports entertainment"). Since launch, organic searches for "Michelob Ultra" have grown by 95 percent.
Michelob Ultra, 'Michelob Guy'
Grand Clio: Social Media
Entrant Company: Wieden+Kennedy
Michelob Ultra picked up one more Grand Clio, in Social Media, for a Wieden+Kennedy campaign that amplified a pop-culture phenomenon—the viral photo of a guy holding a Michelob Ultra as Tiger Woods teed off at the PGA Championship, while everyone around him was capturing the moment with their smartphones. Within 48 hours, "Michelob Guy" appeared in a commercial, had his own merch line, and appeared on Michelob Ultra cans.
Corona, 'Plastic Fishing Tournament'
Grand Clio: Experiential
Grand Clio: Social Good
Entrant Company: We Believers
Corona created the first-ever Plastic Fishing Tournament, a global initiative where fishermen from all over the world were rewarded to make the biggest catch of plastic waste in order to sell it to recycling companies. The more plastic they caught, the more money they made, and the cleaner the ocean became. The campaign won two Grand Clios—in Experiential and Social Good.
Corona, 'Jersey Pay'
Grand Clio: Digital
Entrant Company: VMLY&R Commerce
Fans attending sporting events in Mexico have to be careful with bringing valuables to the game; because of pickpockets, many leave their wallets and phones at home. This was depressing beer sales at stadiums, so Corona and VMLY&R Commerce invented a unique solution—embedding a digital payment system directly into fan jerseys, which could be scanned at the point of purchase.
Atlético de Madrid, 'Stepfather's Day'
Grand Clio: Film
Entrant Company: Sra. Rushmore, SA
Father's Day is an important celebration in Spain—all brands congratulate fathers, but none had done so with stepfathers. Atlético de Madrid, one of the country's top soccer clubs, did so with a charming tale that captivated the club's followers and shared its ideals and philosophy.
Buffalo Wild Wings, 'The Overtime Deal'
Grand Clio: Fan Engagement
Entrant Company: The Martin Agency
Every time a player sends a sports game into overtime, they not only create more time in the game, they create more great times at Buffalo Wild Wings—and more time to sell more wings and beer. During March Madness, BWW introduced "The Overtime Deal," the first-ever NIL sponsorships exclusively for players who send a game into overtime.
Adidas Football, 'No More Red'
Grand Clio: Public Relations
Entrant Company: Iris
In 2021, London saw the highest number of teenage murders on record. To tackle the problem, Iris created No More Red, an initiative that saw Adidas support the long-standing work being done by Arsenal to keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence.
The campaign kicked off with a bold statement—removing the iconic red from the Arsenal home kit, creating an all-white uniform symbolic of an ambition to eradicate bloodshed among London's youth. Adidas and Arsenal teamed up with lifelong Arsenal fan Idris Elba and Arsenal legend Ian Wright to launch the kit, which was worn in game by Arsenal live on national TV during the FA Cup.
Decathlon Canada, 'Ability Signs'
Grand Clio: Direct
Entrant Company: Rethink
Since its creation in 1968, the International Symbol of Access has served as a single icon to represent all people with disabilities. Decathlon, a sporting goods manufacturer, reimagined this common wheelchair signage in Canada to show that sports are for everyone. Using Decathlon’s existing signage system and iconic blue brand color, agency Rethink developed 25 custom symbols representing a variety of wheelchair and non-wheelchair based para-sports. Adding sport items and accessories to a universally known icon told a completely different story—one that shows what people with disabilities can do, not their limitations.