Despite its longstanding association with the World Cup, Budweiser is now faced with the task of trying to navigate its way through a country with strict alcohol regulations. Qatar is a Muslim nation that has very strict rules on alcohol sales. For instance, alcohol is only available at regulated bars, restaurants, and hotels. It is illegal to drink alcohol on the street. In a country that can get temperatures as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, it can be a challenge to find a good place to buy a beer.
The Budweiser brand is one of the official sponsors of the 2022 World Cup. Its marketing campaign has taken a multi-pronged approach, combining a television commercial with packaging to illustrate team uniforms, a beer shaped like a soccer ball, and a festival-inspired event to encourage safe alcohol consumption. It has also launched Bud Zero, a non-alcoholic beverage, which will be available at stadium main bowls.
Budweiser is the biggest regional sponsor of Fifa, the international soccer body, and has spent more than US $75 million to sponsor the World Cup each four years. It is also the only beer company with exclusive rights to sell beer at the World Cup. Budweiser will also operate a Responsible Beverage Service, which will train bar owners and staff to help cut down on binge drinking and drunk driving.
In addition to being the official beer of the tournament, Budweiser is also the main sponsor of the branded festival, a festival-inspired event that features world-class soccer players. The festival will also be a part of Budweiser’s global advertising campaign. Its central ad features soccer players Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., and Rahee Sterling in a stadium tunnel.
One of the largest and most important challenges Budweiser will face is finding the right space for its refrigerated warehouses in Qatar. In addition, the Belgium-based brewer will have to ship its product to Qatar through ocean freight. The company tweeted a picture of a large quantity of beer in its storage warehouse. It later deleted the tweet, however.
Budweiser’s marketing director attempted to tuck the marketing buzz phrase into its official World Cup campaign. It was not entirely clear if the company was getting the rights to use the aforementioned’sm-o-m’, which is the best-known trinket to sup on during the tournament.
The Budweiser marketing department is no stranger to controversy, as the brand has faced some uncertainty on the topic of beer sales in Qatar. It was recently told to move a number of beer stalls from stadiums to less visible areas. The company is also working with Fifa to relocate the concession outlets. Its marketing chief tried to play down the concerns, claiming the company’s partners were 100% confident in the investigation.
In addition to the Budweiser’s main campaign, the brand has also unveiled a song, aptly titled the ‘2022 World Cup song’, a video that showcases the song’s main features and a reimagined version of Tears for Fears’ anthem. The song, which is part of the ‘world cup’ or ‘World Cup – 2022’ brand advertising campaign, is an homage to greatness, reimagining the Tears for Fears anthem as a song about chasing goals.