In less than one month, the world’s largest sporting event, The World Cup, will begin. The World Cup, which takes place every four years, perhaps is only rivaled by the Olympic games. The teams, represented by 32 countries, play their way into the event with the host country’s team getting a bye into the event. It is the most watched and anticipated sporting event in the world estimated audience is 3.5B.
There is a hand full of sponsors and partners for the World Cup, one of which is ABI and Budweiser. While ABI is much maligned where its marketing is concerned, the World Cup sponsorship has to be a real win for ABI. There may not be any better format than the World Cup to fit ABI’s global strategy.
A number of years ago, on a trip to Peru with Crystal beer, I visited a bar in Lima when a televised soccer game Peru was playing in America’s cup was on. With one minute to play, Peru scored, tying the game. The bar exploded with excitement and every piece of furniture not nailed to the ground was flying around the bar! The place was crazy with excitement.
During the 2010 playing of the World Cup, while in Germany for Warsteiner we watched the game between Germany and Britain. We were watching in a hotel bar in a small northern town with a large screen projected TV and all the customers were painted from head to toe, Germany colors with Germany hats and flags. The party really did not start until the end of the game when Germany defeated Britain, 1-0. The partying ended around 4 AM when the sun began to come up!
These two examples of just how much passion these countries have for their teams will play into ABI’s strategy. One can just see ABI’s country-specific marketing plans around the World Cup focusing on Budweiser and supported by all the TV and social media support.
Unfortunately for ABI, the United States did not qualify a team for this year’s World Cup. How this will play out in the TV and overall media ratings will be interesting giving the declining ratings of most major sports. This includes professional football and now, even the recent Olympic games ratings were way down. The question is, will the American fans watch the other countries games in the upcoming event? No doubt the die-hard World Cup fans will, and many sports bars will be featuring the games and you can bet they will do well, but not well if it was a US team playing.
At Warsteiner our sales flew during Germany’s games no matter the time of the day when the game was on TV. Will Budweiser sales do the same this year? ABI has a global strategy for their three key brands and the World Cup is the best platform for ABI to develop these brands without a doubt.
It will be interesting to see how the ratings come in after the event is over but more so, just what Budweiser looks like in four years globally from today.
Brands must become architects of community..