Composite screenshots of @cycledrag TikTok videos
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Those who flocked to Sturgis, South Dakota, for the annual motorcycle rally this year steered clear of the Budweiser tents, video evidence suggests.
The 83rd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is currently in full swing, with tens of thousands of bikers and other enthusiasts from all over the world gathering to show off their ride, honor members of the U.S. military, and otherwise enjoy a slice of good, old-fashioned, gas-powered Americana.
Though attendance seems to be down slightly this year compared to the five-year average, Sturgis, a town of about 7,000 residents, is still bustling with more than 250,000 vehicles counted between last Friday, when the event opened, and Tuesday. The event lasts until this Sunday.
The popular rally draws many high-profile corporate sponsors, including Budweiser. This year, Budweiser made a big show of its enthusiasm for the rally and its attendees. Not only are banners emblazoned with the Budweiser logo spotted throughout Sturgis, but the iconic Budweiser Clydesdale horses helped kick off the rally by headlining the opening ceremonies last Friday.
Despite all those efforts, rally attendees have slaked their thirst elsewhere as the Budweiser tents and booths stand nearly empty in two TikTok videos making their rounds on social media. The videos show a fairly impressive set-up that might be expected for a brand like Budweiser and an official sponsor of the event, offering shade, refreshing beverages, and some official Budweiser merch. But almost no patrons appear to care.
Some on social media are blaming the seemingly poor turnout on lingering frustration with the brand after Bud Light's infamous association with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. The beer company has never apologized for the blunder and has since lost nearly $30 billion in market value.
"Right now, maybe because of the bad PR, the controversy, people [are] staying away," opines the man behind TikTok account Cycledrag, which has been posting throughout the rally and has over 350,000 followers. It is unclear when the video was recorded, but it was first posted on Tuesday.
At the end of the one-minute video, Cycledrag offers a glimmer of hope for the beer brand, predicting that Budweiser drinkers will return, joking that "political views may be no match for alcoholism in the end."
So far, that prediction has not yet come to pass. In a follow-up video taken at "mid week" and posted on Wednesday, the Budweiser area remains so quiet that even Cycledrag struggles to put a positive spin on the situation.
"Oh my goodness. Wow," Cycledrag says as he pans the camera across the desolate Budweiser displays. Proud Budweiser representatives donning patriotic T-shirts try to smile, but even they seem frustrated and perhaps a little embarrassed by the lack of interest from rally participants.
"Sturgis is absolutely jam-packed," Cycledrag notes. "The Harley[-Davidson] tent is packed, the BMW tent is packed, but Budweiser [is] having a tough go."
"There must be a whole lot of beer left over in there," he adds. "I don't know what to say."
Here is an upate on the Budweiser tent at Sturgis mid week #budweiser #budlight #dylanmulvaney #sturgis #sturgisrally #motorcyclesoftiktok🏍️ #motorcyclelife #budlightboycott
In reporting on Cycledrag's videos of the Budweiser area, Samantha Chang of the Western Journal suggested that the "response in Sturgis sends an unequivocal message to Bud Light and other 'woke' corporations that using their products to push left-wing propaganda is unacceptable to a large segment of consumers."
Budweiser did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.
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Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.