The International Olympic Committee (IOC), based in Lausanne, Switzerland, disclosed today that AB InBev is set to become the first-ever beer sponsor at the Worldwide Olympic Partner level until 2028. The brewer's zero-alcohol beer, Corona Cero, will take center stage as the official global beer sponsor for the Olympic Games, underlining a shared commitment to responsible consumption and global betterment. The agreement spans the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France; the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina, Italy; and the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States and the corresponding Paralympic Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach expressed immense satisfaction with the new collaboration, emphasizing the shared vision of supporting sports and athletes. Corona Cero, a global brand, is poised to engage fans on a global scale, celebrating the enchantment of the Olympic Games and the exceptional achievements of athletes. Notably, both AB InBev and the IOC actively contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with the revenue generated from this agreement supporting every Olympic team and athlete.
Michel Doukeris, CEO of AB InBev, underscored the natural synergy between beer and sports, taking pride in being the pioneering beer sponsor at the coveted Worldwide Olympic Partner level. “Beer is the beverage of moderation and choice, and so it’s only fitting to lead with our fast-growing zero-alcohol beer, Corona Cero, for this occasion,” he said.
Marcel Marcondes, Chief Marketing Officer at AB InBev, expressed excitement about bringing beer brands to the Olympics. “Corona is one of our fastest-growing global brands, reaching consumers across 180 countries, and through this partnership, we expect Corona Cero to accelerate no-alcohol beer growth and moderation for fans all over the world,” he said and added “In the United States, we will support the Olympics through the Olympic and Paralympic Games LA 2028 with Michelob ULTRA, a superior light beer that celebrates an active lifestyle.”
Jiri Kejval, Chair of the IOC Revenues and Commercial Partnerships Commission, welcomed AB InBev as a natural addition to the TOP program, uniting leading companies with a shared vision of supporting sports to build a better world. This agreement also extends marketing rights to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Paralympic Games through the IOC-IPC long-term collaboration agreement.
The partnership with the IOC is not AB InBev's only agreement with an international sports organization. The global brewery conglomerate, or its predecessor companies, has maintained a partnership with the international football association FIFA for over 40 years. Despite challenges during the FIFA Men's World Cup 2022 in Qatar, where the dispensing of alcoholic beverages was prohibited at the literal last hours despite assurances from the organizers (inside.beer, 18.11.2022), AB InBev extended the sponsorship agreement in June of last year for both the Women's World Cup 2023 and the Men's World Cup 2026 (inside.beer, 8.6.2023).
From the potential issues with an alcoholic beverage, as seen in Qatar, AB InBev appears to have learned, as the promoted product is now Corona Cero, the world's leading non-alcoholic beer brand by AB InBev.