Spike Lee & Budweiser create Jackie Robinson short film


Budweiser celebrates
the Centennial of
Jackie Robinson’s
birth with ‘Impact’,
a short film on
the American legend,
directed by Spike Lee

Jackie Robinson once said: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives”.

Since I’ve known Oscar Award-winning director and SpikeDDB creative director Spike Lee for a little over two decades, the auteur has always held a great love and respect for “42.”

There was even talk at one point of Mr. Lee making a Jackie Robinson bio-pic. While that never materialized, a beautiful and impactful three-minute short film about the legendary baseball player has.

Did I say it’s beautiful?

To mark the 100th birthday of the iconic and everlasting figure in American history, Budweiser, Dentsu US and Lee will raise a Bud to celebrate Robinson, who profoundly changed the sport and cultural landscape of our country. Narrated by Robinson’s daughter Sharon Robinson, the moving and poignant short will pay honor to the athlete and activist throughout the 2019 MLB season.

Opening with a group of African Americans glued to a radio broadcast of Robinson’s first game, the film begins to parallel Jackie’s impact on baseball with a wider discussion on unity and inclusion. It builds to a finish that showcases an inspiring collection of local advocates who are enacting change and progress every day through their own impact on local communities. Watch below:

ALSO READ: For this Super Bowl, Budweiser gets a “W” for wind

Sharon Robinson worked closely with Budweiser and Lee on the curation of the campaign, narrating Impact with powerful commentary that captures how Jackie continues to shift cultural paradigms to this day.

“I was incredibly honored to work with Spike Lee and Budweiser on ‘Impact’. Spike’s passion for the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson is legendary. We were confident that he’d pay tribute to my father in a fresh and respectful way. The deal was sealed when Budweiser stepped to the plate to help support us in funding the Jackie Robinson Museum,” said Sharon Robinson.

Lee chimed in as well on the project and working with Sharon, “I’m honored to work with Sharon Robinson and Budweiser. All of us working in unison to pay homage to a great American who literally changed the game with the impact he made. Long Live Jackie Robinson!” said Spike Lee.

As part of the campaign, Budweiser is raising money for the Jackie Robinson Foundation to help support the Jackie Robinson Museum opening in New York City. Budweiser has created limited edition Jackie Robinson “42” aluminum bottles for the MLB season.


Marked with Jackie’s signature, 42 cents from every bottle sold will be donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

In a press release, Ricardo Marques, VP Marketing Core & Value brands at Anheuser-Busch, said “Jackie Robinson was a true American hero who displayed incredible courage and resilience in the name of equality and unity,’ adding, “His boundary-breaking achievements extend well beyond baseball through his work as a civil rights activist; undeniably Jackie Robinson continues to serve as an inspiration today for anyone out there looking to live with impact.”



Impact will air for the first time nationally on Opening Day as a TV commercial and in ballparks across the country. In addition to Impact airing on Opening Day, Budweiser will initiate a full 360-degree campaign, including TV, cinema, print, out-of-home, digital, social and in-stadium media, celebrating Jackie’s legacy nationwide.

This is branded entertainment at its finest and most meaningful. And why it’s our Reel Ad of the Week.

Client: Budweiser

Agency: Dentsu US
   Chief Creative Officer: Rui Branquinho
   Art Director: Marcel Yunes
   Art Director: Leandro Câmara
   Account Director, Dentsu Aegis Network Brazil: Fred Paiva
   Copywriter: Rick Williams and Chief Creative Officer, Dentsu Aegis Network Brazil: Rui Branquinho

Production Company: Taking Over & 40 Acres
   Director: Spike Lee
   Executive Producer: Douglas Costa

Spike Lee’s Team:
   Producer: Heather Parish, Jason Shokolof
   Spike DDB: Natasha Williamson, Alex Tyree

Taking Over Team:
   Producers: Mihaly Martins, Carolina Bradilli, Alessandro Scafuro
   Roberto Scafuro, Juliana Rabecchi, Renata Jay.
   Broadcaster Voice: Bob Wolff
   Sound Score: Howard Drossin
   Sound: C5

Post Production: Harbor Pictures

Source: Budweiser

Contact Colin Costello at [email protected].