Russia: Beer ban lifted for FIFA Confederation Cup

International football association FIFA and its key beer sponsor Budweiser were successful in lifting the beer ban in Russian football stadiums for the FIFA Confederation Cup this month, which is considered a test run for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. Just as 3 years ago during FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, officials fought hard to forbid alcohol consumption in and near stadiums but in the end the powerful organizers of one of the most important sports events with millions of viewers around the world were successful. In 2002 Russian officials started restricting alcohol during sports events, after drunken fans went on the rampage at an outdoor screening of a 2002 World Cup match in central Moscow.

In 2011, FIFA and AB InBev announced a FIFA World Cup sponsorship for 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar, building further on the existing 25-year-old partnership between the two organisations. The agreement made Budweiser the Official Beer of the FIFA World Cup (and the FIFA Confederations Cup) for the ninth and tenth time whilst allowing AB InBev to extend local sponsorship rights to its leading brands in selected football markets, including, but not limited to Brahma (Brazil), Hasseröder (Germany), Jupiler (Belgium and the Netherlands), Quilmes (Argentina) and Harbin (China). In addition to traditional sponsorship benefits such as the use of official tournament marks and logos for promotional purposes, on-field signage and outdoor billboards, Budweiser also acquired exclusive pouring rights at all World Cup venues. This conflicted with local restriction in some of the host countries and had to be resolved.

FIFA offers a three-tiered sponsorship structure:

The top tier sponsors, the FIFA Partners, have the highest level of association with FIFA and all FIFA events as well as playing a wider role in supporting the development of football all around the world, from grassroots right up to the top level at the FIFA World Cup. The FIFA Partners Adidas, Coca Cola, Wanda Group (China's largest commercial property company and the world's largest cinema chain operator), Gazprom, Hyundai/KIA Motors, Qatar Airways and VISA each pay between $25-50 million annually for their respective sponsorship package.

The second tier sponsors, the FIFA World Cup sponsors, have rights to the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup on a global basis. This sponsorship level costs between $10-25 million per year. FIFA World Cup sponsors 2018 include AB InBev (Budweiser), HiSense (a Chinese Consumer Electronics Company), McDonald’s and Vivo  (a Chinese smartphone manufacturer).

The bottom tier sponsors, the Regional Supporters, are companies within a pre-defined global region, which are allowed to promote an association with the FIFA World Cup™ in the domestic market.  The Regional Supporters pay between $4.5-7.5 million per year.

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