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Airship Embarks on 25-City Tour to Encourage Use of Designated Drivers

May 20, 2013

ST. LOUIS – On May 22, Budweiser’s first-ever responsible-drinking blimp will begin its official maiden voyage. The airship, which carries the “Designate a Driver” message, will embark on a 17- week tour across much of the country, following a send-off in St. Louis. The blimp’s flight plan includes 25 stops, many of which coincide with major festivals, outdoor celebrations and sporting events in tour cities.

“With summer on the horizon, we’re all finding more reasons to celebrate,” said Kathy Casso, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Anheuser-Busch. “The Budweiser Designate a Driver blimp gives us a unique opportunity to reach adults at outdoor events while they’re enjoying our beers. Our message is simple: However you get home, designate a driver.”

Consumers 21 and older can follow the Budweiser Designate a Driver blimp on Twitter with @budblimp
throughout the tour and tweet photos of the vessel in their city using the hash tag #ddblimp. Adults can also log on to to pledge to drink responsibly and always designate a driver, and then share their pledge through Facebook to encourage friends to do the same.

The blimp is currently scheduled to visit the following cities*:

May 22-23 – St. Louis July 15-16 – New York City
June 1-2 – Houston July 23, 25-29 – Columbus, Ohio
June 6-9 – Nashville August 2 – Pittsburgh
June 11 – Cartersville, Ga. August 3-4 – Akron, Ohio
June 12, 15-16 – Atlanta August 8 – Detroit
June 18 – Tallahassee, Fla. August 11-12 – Milwaukee
June 22-23 – Jacksonville, Fla. August 16-19 – Chicago
June 25 – Hilton Head, S.C. August 24-25 – Pittsburgh
June 29-30 – Charleston, S.C. August 29-September 2 – Philadelphia
July 4 – Virginia Beach, Va. September 5-7 – New York City
July 7 – Williamsburg, Va. September 14-15 – Chicago
July 9, 12 – Baltimore, Md. September 20-21 – St. Louis
July 14 – New Jersey beaches

*weather-permitting, schedule subject to change

The 130-foot airship can reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour but typically cruises at between 30 and 35 miles per hour at an altitude of 1,000 feet. It requires more than 69,000 cubic feet of helium to fully inflate the American-made blimp, and it takes a crew of 13, including a pilot, to operate and transport the airship throughout the tour. Approximately 5 million 12-ounce cans of Budweiser beer could fit inside the airship’s envelope.

“It’s been more than 10 years since a Budweiser blimp has taken flight, so when adults see our Designate a Driver blimp, we hope they’ll take our message to heart and either volunteer to be or use a designated driver,” Casso added.

Consumers who take the pledge at will also be entered to win** a trip for two to the Budweiser Made In America music festival (August 31-September 1), which includes a blimp ride (weather-permitting) over the festival grounds.

The Budweiser Designate a Driver airship will end its tour in St. Louis on September 20 to commemorate Global Be(er) Responsible Day, an annual Anheuser-Busch event dedicated to promoting responsible drinking – including the use of designated drivers.

**For official rules, please visit

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