MU 'Fan Cans' a hit despite university officials' concerns

Saturday, September 5, 2009 | 7:08 p.m. CDT; updated 4:42 p.m. CDT, Sunday, September 6, 2009
Cans of Bud Light spill out of a recycling bag in a parking lot near the Edward Jones Dome after the game against Illinois on Saturday. The cans with team colors have spurred debate as to whether or not they encourage underage drinking.

People are snapping up black-and-gold, MU-themed "Fan Cans" in spite of Chancellor Brady Deaton's concern that the promotion may increase underage drinking among MU students.

A week after his written complaint to Anheuser-Busch InBev about the marketing promotion that features Bud Light beer cans decked in school colors, Deaton hasn't heard back from the brewing company, MU spokesman Christian Basi said Friday.

The university has no further plans to protest the promotion.

“The letter is going to stand," Basi said.

Deaton expressed concern that the campaign could increase underage drinking among MU's student body, especially because it coincides with the beginning of the football season.

His complaint came the same day MU freshman quarterback Blaine Dalton, 18, was dismissed from the team after his arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, as reported previously by the Missourian.

Despite the protest, the cans were a visible presence at Saturday's game in St. Louis. 

MU senior Corey Kist said at the game that cans don't promote underage drinking.

"I don't think colors on a can ... make any difference," Kist said. "If you're going to drink, you're going to drink."

MU fan Julie Kirchmer agreed.

"I think they promote school spirit," Kirchmer said.

Fan Cans were hard to find Saturday afternoon in Columbia.

HyVee and Gerbes, both on Broadway, were sold out of Fan Cans by early afternoon, while Schnucks, on Forum Boulevard, was down to two cases.

Tin Can Tavern and Grill, which sells beer exclusively in cans, had no Fan Cans on Saturday — but not for lack of effort on their part. 

The bar, located at 220 S. Eighth St., received one small shipment but sold out well before Saturday's game, said Rocky Hazelwood, managing partner at Tin Can. "The off-premise locations — Gerbes, Hy-Vee — were offered the majority of them."

Hazelwood hopes to get more cans in soon.

"I want to be one of the only places in (Columbia) where you can buy them in a bar," Hazelwood said later by e-mail.


Missourian reporter David Kennedy contributed to this report.

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Phillip Berrong September 6, 2009 | 4:36 p.m.

It seems to me that naming an academic institution (Anheuser Busch Natural Resources Building) after beer is less appropriate than displaying the name of a college on a beer can. Doesn't the University Bookstore sell souvenir shot glasses? Don't the arena and stadium sell beer? On a dry campus? I'm sure they don't turn a profit from those $5 Bud Lights, though. That would be totally inappropriate.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr September 6, 2009 | 5:08 p.m.

Phillip Berrong we all know there is a huge mark up and yes they make money. Great post.

(Report Comment)
Jennifer Gerling September 6, 2009 | 8:09 p.m.

Faurot Field does not sell alcohol, nor does the Mizzou Arena or Hearnes. Anheuser-Busch donates a lot of money to many good causes including the University. When I used to go to MU, I didn't walk past that building and think to myself, hey, they supported MU so I'm going to go drink their products. That's a negative. I'm sure thousands of students would agree with me.

(Report Comment)

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