Qatar’s last-minute decision to ban alcohol at World Cup venues left Budweiser with loads of beer on its hands. The company has an innovative solution for unloading.
Budweiser will ship unsold buds to the state that wins the tournament, and the company said in a tweet. The company confirmed the plans in a statement to CNN Business, writing that it “wants to bring this celebration from the stadiums of the FIFA World Cup to the fans of the winning nation.”
“We will host the final tournament celebration for the winning nation. Because, for the winning fans, they took on the world. More details will be shared as we get closer to the finals,” an Anheuser-Busch InBev spokesperson said in a statement.
Last week — just days before the World Cup kicked off — Qatar announced that its eight stadiums could not sell alcoholic Budweiser, leaving fans with only one beer option: the alcohol-free Bud Zero.
Qatar is a very conservative Muslim country, which tightly regulates the sale and use of alcoholic beverages. In September, officials said fans with tickets would be able to purchase an alcoholic beer three hours before kick-off and for an hour after the final whistle, but not during the match.
“Following discussions between the host country authorities and FIFA, a decision was taken to focus on the sale of alcoholic beverages at the FIFA Fan Fest, other fan destinations and licensed venues, and to remove beer sales points from the vicinity of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar stadium,” said FIFA, FIFA’s governing body. foot, last week.
Budweiser tweeted, “Well, that’s embarrassing,” though the social media post was quickly deleted.
“As partners of FIFA for more than three decades, we look forward to energizing FIFA World Cup campaigns around the world to celebrate football with our customers,” a spokesperson for AB-InBev said in an earlier statement. “Some of the planned stadium activities cannot go ahead due to circumstances beyond our control.”
AB InBev paid $75 million to sponsor FIFA, according to multiple reports. So, throwing a wrench into the company’s World Cup marketing plans, the decision drastically reduces its presence to the thousands of fans at the World Cup. Arguably, however, the biggest part – her TV commercials with King of Football Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. – remained unaffected.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be held until December 18.