'Bud United presents: The Big Time' Contestants Look to Soccer Star Alex Morgan and Others for Tips on Success

Contestants graduate from social media obscurity to take their shot at The Big Time in world's first social-reality show, Saturdays at 3 p.m. ET on ABC

Jan 19, 2012, 12:42 ET from Anheuser-Busch InBev

BRUSSELS, Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Following their outstanding performance on the world stage this summer, soccer star Alex Morgan and her teammates Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Cheney know a thing or two about making it to The Big Time.  On Saturday, January 28, they – along with MLS players Juan Pablo Angel and Frankie Hejduk – will share their knowledge with three wannabe professional soccer players, cast via social media websites for participation in the world's first social-reality show, Bud United presents: The Big Time.

Airing Saturdays at 3 p.m. ET on ABC, Bud United presents: The Big Time is a seven-part series premiering this Saturday, January 21, featuring young adults from across the globe fulfilling their dreams – from racing professional racecar drivers and suiting up for a global soccer powerhouse to pitching for a professional baseball team and taking center stage at a major music concert.  Individuals from all over the world had the opportunity to be selected for the global show by submitting a casting application online. 

In the soccer episode, U.S. Women's Soccer star Morgan joins forces with Brazilian goalie coach Gaucho Pinho to train three aspiring goalkeepers getting a second chance to make it big.  Their skills are tested through a series of challenges, including a game of "goalie wars" in the dark.  The goalie who comes out on top gets to take the field during half-time of the USA/Costa Rica soccer game and defend against penalty kicks from some of the top names in US Soccer, in the hope of winning a chance to train at the Zico Soccer Academy in Brazil. 

In addition to what they will see in the show, fans may view exclusive behind-the-scenes clips and tips from Morgan and other celebrity mentors such as actress Kathy Najimy, NASCAR's Kevin Harvick, and chef Hubert Keller on The Big Time's official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/budunited) and YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/bigtime).

The full ABC broadcast schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, January 21 (3 p.m. ET) – The Big Time: Music, featuring Julie Pilat of Clear Channel Radio
  • Saturday, January 28 (3 p.m. ET) – The Big Time: Soccer, featuring U.S. Women's Soccer star Alex Morgan
  • Saturday, February 4 (4 p.m. ET) – The Big Time: Acting, featuring actress Kathy Najimy
  • Saturday, February 11 (3 p.m. ET) – The Big Time: Basketball, featuring Lakers legend AC Green
  • Saturday, February 18 (3 p.m. ET) – The Big Time: Cooking¸ featuring master chef Hubert Keller
  • Saturday, February 25 (3 p.m. ET) – The Big Time: Racing, featuring NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick
  • Saturday, March 3 (3 p.m. ET) – The Big Time: Baseball, featuring NY Mets legend Frank Viola


A creative team led by @radical.media, an Emmy and Academy Award winning global entertainment company creating some of the world's most innovative content and Evan Weinstein, Co-Executive Producer of The Amazing Race and seven-time Emmy Award winner, have partnered with Budweiser to produce the show.

About Anheuser-Busch InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with an American Depositary Receipt secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD).  It is the leading global brewer and one of the world's top five consumer products companies.  A true consumer-centric, sales driven organization, AB InBev manages a portfolio of well over 200 beer brands that includes global flagship brands Budweiser®, Stella Artois® and Beck's®, fast growing multi-country brands like Leffe® and Hoegaarden®, and strong "local champions" such as Bud Light®, Skol®, Brahma®, Quilmes®, Michelob®, Harbin®, Sedrin®, Klinskoye®, Sibirskaya Korona®, Chernigivske®, and Jupiler®, among others.  In addition, the company owns a 50 percent equity interest in the operating subsidiary of Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer and owner of the global Corona® brand.  AB InBev's dedication to heritage and quality is rooted in brewing traditions that originate from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, which traces its origins back to 1852 in St. Louis, USA.  Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, AB InBev leverages the collective strengths of its approximately 114 000 employees based in operations in 23 countries across the world.  The company strives to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World.  In 2010, AB InBev realized 36.3 billion US dollar revenue.  For more information, please visit: www.ab-inbev.com.

Bud United presents: The Big Time Internet Press Kit

About the Contestants (Episode Two Airing Saturday, January 28, 2012)

Craig Ellison
Age: 23
Resides: Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM
23-year-old Craig Ellison has been passionate about football his entire life, playing in Manchester, UK, even staying to play after his family relocated to Dubai. Craig was ecstatic when he was signed to League One English team, but shortly after his signing, the team cut the vast majority of younger players due to financial issues. Despite these hardships, Craig never lost his love for the sport and has since started his own coaching and consulting business.

Daniel Illyes
Age: 28
Resides: Eger, HUNGARY
This proud Hungarian is intense and serious about soccer, but goofy and fun-loving in non-professional situations. He has won many awards in his career playing for mid-level pro teams in Hungary, but thirsts for playing on a larger world stage. Though Daniel has experienced the tough rejection that comes with a professional athletic career, he loves the sport and continues to strive for more.

John Ward
Age: 26
Resides: Los Angeles, CA
Growing up in a tiny town in Pennsylvania with a father who didn't get his sons' desire to play soccer, John and his brothers are a tight- knit unit devoted to sports and each other. With the help of a world-class soccer coach and mentor in high school, John went on to win an athletic scholarship to Villanova where his career was unfortunately marred by a barrage of injuries. Nonetheless, John never lost his love for the game, but when his chance to play professionally never materialized beyond the semi-pro ranks he moved out to L.A. to pursue a career in writing and acting. Despite his love for the arts, John admits that he would leave Hollywood behind for a second shot at a big-stage soccer career.

For more information, contact:
Jen Crichton, +1 (314) 552-6788




SOURCE Anheuser-Busch InBev