UPDATE: Finally! The Cleveland Browns won their first game in two years on September 20. The underdogs triumphed over the New York Jets, 21-17. After losing all 16 of their games last year and 15 the year before, the Browns are 1-1 for the 2018 season, with one tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 9.
— Bud Light (@budlight) September 21, 2018
In honor of Browns fans’ unwavering loyalty during the drought, Bud Light installed “Victory Fridges” in bars around Cleveland. Those beer vending machines were locked and would only dispense free Bud Light once the Browns finally took home a W — and boy, did they deliver.
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) September 21, 2018
Read on for more information about the Victory Fridges and Bud Light’s wonder gesture to fine city of Cleveland.
ORIGINAL STORY: Bud Light is offering a glimmer of hope to Cleveland Browns fans that this season will be better than the last — and the one before that — by installing “Victory Fridges” in Cleveland bars, which are beer vending machines that automatically unlock once the NFL team finally wins a game. They will open only then and not a minute earlier.
If anyone needs a reminder, the Browns lost all 16 of their games last year and 15 the year before. This puts their win-loss record going into the 2018 season at 1-31. The Browns also haven’t won a championship since 1964.
So, yeah, that record calls for a beer or two. Or a fridge full of them.
Bud Light Victory Fridges aren’t meant to poke fun at this abysmal record. They were developed to celebrate the fans. Sure, quarterbacks Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler should get a pat on the back for sticking with the team loss after loss, but the fans freezing their asses off watching them get sacked aren’t making seven figures.
“The Bud Light Browns ‘Victory Fridge’ is a fun way to celebrate and reward a fan base that has never wavered in enthusiasm or dedication for their team no matter what happens,” says Andy Goeler, vice-president of marketing for Bud Light. “It’s going to be fun to be part of the celebration when the team earns their first victory of the season.”
Bud Light, with help from Ohio-based wholesaler House of LaRose, is installing a handful of these smart vending machines at local watering holes and the FirstEnergy Stadium. The fridges will remain off until the moment of the first big W, when they automatically uncork and dispense free beer, “giving fans 21 and over the chance to enjoy the sweet taste of victory together,” says Bud Light in a press release.
You’ve stood by us through it all. We love you for it, and so does @budlight.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 14, 2018
“Our top priorities are to build a consistently winning team and to create unique experiences for Browns fans, and the Bud Light Cleveland Browns Victory Fridges will give our fans a special opportunity to celebrate our first win of the 2018 season,” said executive vice president and COO Dave Jenkins. “We have the most passionate, loyal fans in sports, and we are excited to partner with Bud Light on this promotion that they created specifically for Northeast Ohio due to Browns fans’ unmatched support of our team.”
Powered by Bud-E Fridge smart technology, the Bud Light Browns Victory Fridge is the brand’s latest innovative technology to help create unique experiences for NFL fans. After all, Bud Light is the official beer sponsor of the league.
If you ask us, this top Jim Beam’s smart decanter.
Article originally published August 17, 2018. Last updated by Nicole Raney to include details of and reactions to the Browns’ much-anticipated win.