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Friday, May 24, 2024

Olympics Secures First-Ever Global Beer Sponsor

The Olympics welcomes Anheuser-Busch InBev as its inaugural global beer sponsor, breaking a 40-year tradition.

Bud Light brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has made history by becoming the first-ever global beer sponsor for the next three Olympics and Paralympic Games. In a groundbreaking move, the company has chosen to promote its non-alcoholic brand, Corona Cero, on a global scale. This strategic decision aligns with AB InBev and the International Olympic Committee’s joint commitment to responsible consumption, aiming to convey messages of connection, moderation, and celebration to billions of Olympic fans worldwide.

The sponsorship deal encompasses the upcoming Summer Games in Paris, the Milan Winter Games in 2026, and the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles, marking the first time in about three decades that the Summer Olympics will be held in the United States. This initiative represents a departure from the traditional approach of promoting established beer brands during the Olympics, marking a significant shift in the landscape of global sports sponsorships.

Corona Cero, a non-alcoholic beer launched by AB InBev in 2022, takes center stage as the “global beer sponsor of the Olympic Games.” The choice of Corona as the flagship brand for this global partnership stems from its status as the most globally recognized brand within AB InBev. The company aims to leverage the widespread appeal of Corona to effectively communicate its responsible consumption message across diverse cultures and regions.

While Corona Cero is not available in the United States, the brand’s international distribution and sales across Europe are handled by AB InBev. In the U.S., Constellation Brands, the maker of Modelo, controls the non-alcoholic beer market with a similar product named Corona Non-Alcoholic.

In addition to the Corona Cero global sponsorship, AB InBev’s Michelob Ultra has secured the exclusive beer sponsorship for Team USA athletes through 2028, solidifying its position as the official beer of the LA 2028 Summer Games. This development comes after Budweiser concluded its 32-year sponsorship of Team USA athletes in 2017. Michelob Ultra, a low-carb beer targeting active individuals, aligns with the ethos of the Olympics and resonates with high-profile athletes, making it a fitting choice for this exclusive partnership.

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These strategic sponsorships showcase AB InBev’s proactive approach to evolving consumer preferences, with a particular focus on the growing demand for non-alcoholic beverages. The move also underscores the company’s dedication to responsible consumption, aligning with broader trends in the beverage industry.

Global sales of non-alcoholic beer have witnessed significant growth, with projections indicating a 31% increase in sales of no and low-alcohol products in major markets, including Spain, Germany, and the U.S., in the current year. This surge reflects a broader trend of consumers embracing moderation and wellness, contributing to the transformation of the beverage landscape.

As AB InBev pioneers this historic sponsorship, the Olympics, a platform synonymous with athletic excellence, embraces a paradigm shift by promoting responsible consumption through non-alcoholic beverages. The sponsorship deal’s financial details remain undisclosed, but the impact on the brewing industry and global sports sponsorship is palpable, setting the stage for a new era in Olympic partnerships.