25 January 2024

AB-InBev to sponsor Olympic Games through 2028

Belgium | AB-InBev is becoming the first-ever beer sponsor for the next three Olympic and Paralympic Games, media reported on 12 January. Rather than use the sponsorship to advertise an established beer, though, AB-InBev will promote its non-alcoholic brand Corona Cero globally to show the company’s and International Olympic Committee’s commitment to responsible consumption.

Financial terms of the sponsorship were not revealed. The deal will cover the upcoming Summer Games in Paris, the Milan Winter Games in 2026, and the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Corona Cero, which launched in 2022, is not sold in the US since Constellation Brands controls the Modelo range there, while AB-InBev handles the rest of the world.

Prior to this, the Olympics never had a global beer sponsorship, but local organising committees had enlisted beer brands in the past. For example, Asahi Breweries was the official beer sponsor of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo (which took place in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic).

Pilsner Urquell ends sponsorship

In December 2023, Pilsner Urquell announced that it would not support the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, in response to the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete. Provided they have not supported the war in Ukraine, they may enter as individuals and not as a national team. More than 30 western countries, including Britain and the US, had called for a complete ban.

Pilsner Urquell (Asahi), an official partner of the Czech Olympic Committee, withdrew from all communications and sponsorship material related to the 2024 Olympics. The funds will now go to Czech athletes instead, a brewery spokesperson said.

This is not the first time Russian athletes have taken part in Olympics without their flag or anthem. During the Cold War, after the US had boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the former Soviet Union and its allies retaliated with a boycott of the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

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