Switzerland: AB InBev extends FIFA partnership despite last year’s problems

AB InBev has announced the extension of its nearly four-decade-long partnership with FIFA, (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) securing the official beer sponsorship for both the Women's World Cup 2023 and the Men's World Cup 2026.

Last year, AB InBev faced challenges during the 2022 FIFA Men's World Cup in Qatar when last-minute restrictions prevented the sale of alcoholic beer in stadiums. (inside.beer, 18.11.2022)

However, the company remains committed to its alliance with FIFA and joins other global companies like Unilever, Visa, and Hyundai-Kia in extending their partnerships for the upcoming World Cups.

As the financial terms of the expanded partnership were not disclosed, it is not clear if a USD 47 million refund has been granted for the troubles that arose in Qatar, as requested by AB InBev after last year's tournament. (inside.beer, 23.11.2022)

AB InBev's Chief Marketing Officer, Marcel Marcondes, emphasized the company's deep connection to football and its excitement about continuing the relationship with FIFA as an official World Cup sponsor of Budweiser since the 1986 Tournament.

“FIFA World Cup tournaments are the most popular sporting events in the world. We are deeply connected to the fans and to football all over the world, which is why we’re excited about extending the relationship with FIFA,” said Marcondes. “Cheering and celebrating over a beer is a part of the experience for billions of football fans. We’re proud to continue offering new, meaningful ways to engage with fans and give unrivalled, immersive experiences that connect them to the sport that they love.”

FIFA's Chief Business Officer, Romy Gai, expressed pride in renewing the successful partnership with AB InBev, anticipating that it will reach new heights in 2023 and 2026, benefiting both the game of football and its global development.

The upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand, scheduled from July 20 to August 20, 2023, marks a significant milestone as it will feature 32 teams for the first time. In addition to traditional marketing support, AB InBev and other companies will participate in the inaugural Women's World Cup Fan Festival, planned across all nine host cities in Australia and New Zealand. These fan festivals, previously seen at men's World Cup tournaments, offer free and vibrant destinations for people of all ages to celebrate football, enjoy entertainment, and experience the local culture.

Additionally, the FIFA World Cup 2026, set to take place from May 31 to July 19, 2026, will be the first-ever tournament hosted jointly by three countries—Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This expanded event will involve 48 participating teams and feature 104 matches across 16 cities.

FIFA is the international governing body for the sport of football (soccer). FIFA was founded in 1904 and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Its primary responsibilities include organizing and overseeing international football tournaments, establishing and enforcing the rules of the game, and promoting the development and growth of football globally. FIFA is best known for organizing the FIFA World Cup, the most prestigious tournament in international football, which takes place every four years. In addition to the World Cup, FIFA also organizes other tournaments such as the FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, and various youth and club competitions.

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