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Benefiting Pandemic-Impacted Studios

Michelob ULTRA VP Ricardo Marques Speaks to MOVEMENT Live

— April 30, 2020 — Business
With gyms closed in the wake of COVID-19 to protect communities throughout the US, the fitness industry has taken a devastating hit—with many trainers and gym owners out of work, while rent payments are still due.

In an effort to benefit the owners and trainers who’ve seen their businesses impacted by the pandemic, Michelob ULTRA launched its MOVEMENT Live initiative. With this initiative, the popular beer brand offers small business owners and trainers a larger platform, allowing them to reach a greater base of consumers who’re looking to boost their at-home workout routines.

To learn more about the initiative and how it benefits the brand’s partners, we spoke with Ricardo Marques, Vice President at Michelob ULTRA.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your role with Michelob?

I currently hold the role of Vice President of Marketing at Michelob ULTRA, which I’ve recently transitioned into. I’ve been with Michelob ULTRA’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, for over 15 years now, where I’ve helped to strategize new marketing initiatives and work with a number of our different brands, including Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Skol.

What is MOVEMENT by Michelob ULTRA Live, and how does it benefit local businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19?

MOVEMENT Live is an initiative that spotlights live fitness classes on our social media channels, with each class led by top trainers and gym owners from local establishments that have been affected by a dramatic decrease in revenue due to the events surrounding COVID-19.

We wanted to give these small business owners a larger platform that would allow them to reach more people, while also giving viewers more access to affordable at-home workouts that they can take part in and enjoy while they’re safe at home.

During each live class, viewers can donate through the Virtual Tip Jar that’s featured, which is set up through Venmo. When viewers donate, Michelob ULTRA and our partner Optimum Nutrition, will match it. Depending on the number of donations received, Michelob ULTRA and Optimum Nutrition will dedicate up to $7,500 a week to directly benefit the fitness professionals involved in the initiative.

Michelob ULTRA has already featured Grammy award-winning DJ and producer Steve Aoki as a part of this initiative, are there plans for any more celebrity cameos?

Definitely! Steve Aoki provided a virtual DJ set for the first class we featured, which was a cardio dance party with Sadie Kurzban of 305 Fitness. Diplo will be joining for the second class, a vinyasa-style yoga class led by Jo Murdock of Y7 Studio . After that, we’ll be featuring former Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima, who’ll be doing a live boxing workout with Olympic Boxer Tony Jeffries, who’s also the owner of Box N Burn.

We’re looking forward to sharing more partnerships that will bring as much attention as we can to these small businesses. It’s a great cause and we’ve seen a lot of enthusiasm from our partners so far.

What types of fitness classes can viewers expect to see featured, and how can they take part?

MOVEMENT Live will feature all types of classes, ranging from yoga to HIIT, and everything in between. The virtual classes are meant to be done at home with little to no equipment. This makes them highly accessible to anyone who wants to partake, which in-turn generates more involvement to benefit the gym owners and trainers who are leading the classes.

The classes will be broadcasted live from our social channels, and they’ll be uploaded to our YouTube channel as well in case viewers want to repeat a class.

Image Credit: Michelob ULTRA
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