AB InBev Named First Global Olympic Beer Sponsor

Anheuser-Busch InBev signed on as the first global beer sponsor of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games through 2028. However, there’s a plot twist: Corona Cero 0.0% beer will be the breakout star.

The alcohol-free brew will be the official beer of the Summer Olympics in Paris, joining Coca-Cola, Toyota, Airbnb and others as the International Olympic Committee’s top-tier exclusive sponsors.

The partnership will give AB InBev the chance to reach the 4 billion people expected to tune into 2024 Olympic broadcasts around the world, as well as the 15.3 million visitors planning to visit Paris and its surrounding areas come July.

In a statement, the IOC and AB InBev said the partnership demonstrated a joint commitment to responsible alcohol consumption. It will also help AB InBev boost sales of its no-alcohol beer range, which drove double-digit incremental growth for the drinks giant in 2022.

AB InBev chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes said: “As we continue to invest to grow the category, we are excited to bring our beer brands to the Olympics and be a worldwide partner for these amazing events.”

He added: “Corona is one of our fastest-growing global brands, reaching consumers across 180 countries, and, through this partnership, we expect Corona Cero to accelerate no-alcohol beer growth and highlight moderation.”

At a press event in London Friday, Marcondes confirmed that the marketing messaging would be focused on connection, moderation and celebration under the banner of “Golden Moments.”

He also said the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, due to be hosted in in Los Angeles, would be sponsored by low-alcohol alternative Michelob Ultra.

From Cero to hero

In major markets including the U.K., the U.S., France and Brazil, sales of no- and lower alcohol beverages are set to grow by 31% in volume by 2024, according to analysts at IWSR.

AB InBev has joined brewers including Diageo and Heineken in marketing no-alcohol beer and stout heavily over the past 12 months. Now, it will get the chance to do so on the world stage.

Corona Cero landed on shelves in 2022, promoted as a 0% product made with all natural ingredients.

AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said: “This partnership illustrates the opportunity for our category to positively impact and engage with billions of fans around the world, ushering in a new era of Olympic spirit as we cheer for our favorite national teams and athletes as they go for gold. We look forward to activating at the 2024, 2026 and 2028 Games.”

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