One major FIFA partner is seeking a way to level the playing field after beer sales were suddenly banned at official World Cup stadiums.
Budweiser will reportedly ask for an estimated $47.4 million discount on its upcoming 2026 World Cup partnership, according to a Nov. 22 article from Front Office Sports. The company currently holds an approximately $112 million sponsorship deal for the next World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Budweiser reportedly spent $75 million on the 2022 partnership deal — so, naturally, the last minute policy change could be considered disappointing for the brand. While Budweiser was originally set to sell beer inside the stadium and in outdoor fan areas, a sudden policy change (occurring two days before the World Cup kicked off) restricted the alcohol sales to discreet fan zones only.
A representative for Anheuser-Busch InBev recently commented on the issue in Beer Business Daily’s Nov. 23 newsletter:
“As FIFA mentioned, a few weeks ago a deal was struck between us for the 2023-2026 FIFA World Cup cycle and we are now working through the finalization and contracting process.”
Budweiser has sponsored the FIFA World Cup for more than 30 years, according to a Sept. 2022 press release from the brand.
While the World Cup soccer matches thrill fans across the world, complicated brand partnerships at the championship can be equally intriguing to spectate.