Beer giant Budweiser found themselves in a bit of an awkward position. Ready to distribute beer for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the country made a last minute decision to ban all alcohol sales at eight of the participating stadiums. This left only the non-alcoholic option, Bud Zero. Budweiser was literally all dressed up, with nowhere to go. Luckily, they came up with an agreeable alternative.
Whoever wins the Cup gets the beer!
You might wonder why this decision came about. Qatar, the location of this FIFA World Cup, is a Muslim country with extremely conservative views on the consumption of alcohol. Officials were willing to bend the rules a bit on the sale and regulation of alcohol. Attendees could purchase beer for three hours before kickoff, and one hour after the final whistle. Consumption of alcohol wouldn’t be allowed during the match itself.
But after a discussion with host country authorities and FIFA, the collective decision was made to restrict in-stadium distribution. Instead, alcohol distribution would be relegated to the FIFA Fan Festival and outside locations away from the stadium perimeters. Given that AB-InBev paid $75 million for FIFA sponsorship, this has caused a bit of a problem for Budweiser’s processes. Luckily, the pivot to being an additional award to the victors is an acceptable fix.
“As partners of FIFA for over three decades, we look forward to our activations of FIFA World Cup campaigns around the world to celebrate football with our consumers,” a spokesperson, lamenting the restrictions over distribution, said.
But this way, everyone wins. The winning country will get an added bonus to fuel celebrations, and Budweiser will be able to distribute their beer. Win-win!