Beer advertising is the winner of the World Cup 2014. FIFA has reverted anti-alcohol regulations in three countries. In the meantime, creativity of the advertisers has sparked even more than usual.
Against the trend to limit visibility of alcohol advertising and sponsorship in the public, the biggest winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is Budweiser. To protect sponsorship deal FIFA made everything to keep beer brands visible on the stadiums and around them, affecting anti-alcohol regulations, not only in Brazil.
The World Cup is a big event for beverages sector, and especially for beer producers. Football sponsorship is traditionally in the core of marketing efforts for european brands. Main European beer brands, Heineken and Carlsberg both fiercely fight for sponsorship rights to main football events such as UEFA Champions League or UEFA European Championship. The results are Heineken’s Legendary Football and Carlsberg Part of the Game campaigns that place both brands in the heart of any football event in Europe. Similarly, local beer brands are supporting national teams, leagues and football clubs.
However, anti-alcohol policies are getting stricter every year, following anti-tobacco regulations. In Brazil the sales of beer on stadiums was prohibited since 2003. To protect its mighty sponsor, Budweiser, FIFA forced Brazilian regulators to lift the ban for the World Cup with a special “Budweiser bill”.
Similar action is already in progress in Russia, in preparation for 2018 FIFA World Cup, where ban lifting regulation draft is already being processed by the Russian Parliament, the Duma.
Even more interesting is the situation in Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup. This strictly islamic country has very harsh regulations on alcohol sales – its citizens are not even allowed into the point of sale. Beer craving foreigners are obliged to identify themselves with passport and a special membership card to enter the bar and enjoy a drink. However, for the World Cup this rules will also be lifted, and alcohol sales is supposed to be available in fan zones and at stadiums.
See also: Top 5 most creative beer ads on the World Cup 2014.