Every four years the World Cup fever consumes the planet. Everyone knows that soccer is big business. Global corporations make huge profits. What is less known is that smaller businesses can profit as well. The story of the beer industry in Brazil is an example of how businesses large and small benefit from World Cup stimulation.
Beer is synonymous with sports. Beer commercials are constantly played throughout halftime, and the largest corporate sponsors are also often beer companies, such as Anheuser-Busch at this summer’s World Cup. The World Cup is by far the largest sporting event in the world, and over a billion people tune in four years to watch the beautiful game played by the worlds biggest stars. Although players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar may be the biggest stars at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, not all of them will be winning the tournament. There will be many winners, though, and those winners will be the beer companies, small and large.
FIFA and Beer
It is often difficult to imagine a modern day sporting event of any kind, especially a soccer match, without the influence of beer. Beer served within soccer stadiums is a concept that Brazilians have not experienced in over a decade. For over ten years now beer had been banned within stadiums during matches due to heightened hooliganism in the early part of the millenium. In a nation where 35% of those surveyed stated that beer was a ‘national passion’, FIFA and Anheuser-Busch could not allow for the games to go on without it. In 2013, FIFA convinced the Brazilian government to lift the ban, and allow the games to go on with quite possibly the most important aspect of the tournament other than soccer.
Brazil Set for Record Sales
With the demand for beer to increase throughout the tournament, Brazilian beer companies are preparing for record sales. During the 2010 World Cup beer sales in Brazil increased by 15%, and their team did not even advance past the quarter-finals, with this summers tournament on home soil, the sales could rise exponentially with each games the national team wins. A study commissioned by the Sao Paulo Supermarkets Association, is stating that there will be about a 37% increase in beer consumption throughout the tournament and roughly $816 million in sales. Thousands of independently owned grocery stores, restaurants, and pubs will be the ones really feeling the increased demand that is associated with the World Cup.
Brazil’s Sacred Brew
Brazilian beer giant Brahma, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, has already taken one of the most interesting steps in creating a special brew for the World Cup. Brahma Selecao Especial will be brought to the public during the World Cup, and will be a beer of incredible importance to the Brazilian people. Made with barley grown at the legendary Granja Comary Training Ground of the Brazilian national team, this beer will serve as a tribute to the team itself, with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari receiving bottle number one, and legend Ronaldo receiving the special bottle number nine.
When the 2014 World Cup kicks off on June 12th, it is sure to be a spectacle. The drink that fuels the stars we will all be watching may be water, or Gatorade, but the beverage that truly fuels the tournament is beer and Brazil’s breweries cannot wait to cash in.