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Spike Lee Honors Jackie Robinson’s Legacy on Opening Day

Jackie Robinson Bud

Marking the 100th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s birth in 1919: an inspirational video from director Spike Lee and ad campaign from Budweiser celebrating his life and legacy.

The season-long campaign, in conjunction with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, will spotlight the heroic achievements of Robinson, both on and off the field.

Robinson was born on January 31, 1919. After starring in collegiate athletics at UCLA, Robinson was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Branch Rickey and broke baseball’s color line in the 1947 season.  Every team has retired #42 in honor of Robison’s accomplishments.

The cornerstone of the campaign is Impact, a 3-minute short film directed by Lee and narrated by Jackie’s daughter, Sharon Robinson. The  film spotlights the moment Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier after more than 50 years of segregation in the sport. It’s officially being unveiled today on Opening Day broadcasts; you can see it here:

“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.

The film parallels 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.

“Jackie Robinson was a true American hero who displayed incredible courage and resilience in the name of equality and unity” said Ricardo Marques, VP Marketing Core & Value brands at Anheuser-Busch. “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.”

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.

Sharon Robinson worked closely with Budweiser 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,” Sharon Robinson said.

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