ST. LOUIS – From Cristal to Budweiser? Anheuser-Busch has hired Jay-Z as its new co-brand director for Budweiser Select, banking on his celebrity and entrepreneurial expertise to help lift its beer brand.
Marlene Coulis, the company's vice president of brand management, said Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is a great entrepreneur with expertise in pop culture, music and business.
"He's got great appeal," she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, adding that Jay-Z can help Anheuser-Busch "reach people in groundbreaking ways."
The respected entrepreneur already oversees Rocawear, his multimillion-dollar clothing company. He's part-owner of the New Jersey Nets and the frontman for Def Jam Recordings.
"It's a pretty significant experiment," said Brian Till, marketing department chairman at Saint Louis University.
Till said Jay-Z's popularity would influence young adults to choose Budweiser Select over other brands. The nation's largest brewer, based in St. Louis, also plans to launch an online entertainment site called Bud.TV, aimed at 20-somethings.
Anheuser-Busch officials said Jay-Z would help in development sessions and offer his insights. The company would not give other details on his role.
The rap icon has already been spotted in a Bud Select commercial that ran this week during Monday Night Football on ESPN.
The commercial is set to his new song, "Show Me What You Got," and features Jay-Z, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Indy Racing League driver Danica Patrick.
"Show Me What You Got" is the first release from Jay-Z's new album "Kingdom Come," scheduled for release on Nov. 21. It's his first return to recording since he retired in 2003 to take over Def Jam.