As with many sports, soccer fans and beer go together as well, rum and coke – for the sake of this article. It is a pairing that dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s as football dramatically increased its popularity throughout Europe. Fans in the United States, however, have yet to see alcoholic beverage companies seek the significant corporate opportunities available in Major League Soccer, that they have with the other major sports. Budweiser has been the official beer sponsor of Major League Soccer since its inception in 1996 and has continued support the league and some teams through its short history. Other beer and alcohol companies have been hesitant to invest and allocate marketing dollars to the MLS. The partnership with Budweiser provides naming rights to the Budweiser Golden Boot, which goes to the player with the most goals. Prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Budweiser co-hosted the Budweiser Cup with the MLS. It allowed amateur footballers to compete internationally in a 6 versus 6, small-sided tournament. The best teams were rewards with an opportunity to compete in the final tournament during the World Cup festivities in South Africa.
“In every corner of the world, football fans share a passion for their favorite teams
and players, and they enjoy watching the games with a cold beer.” – Tony Ponturo,
Vice President of Global Media and Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Additionally, Budweiser continues its tradition and involvement in soccer as the Official Beer Sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Budweiser has been a sponsor since the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
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