New York (CNN Business) — Qatar’s last-minute decision to ban alcohol in World Cup stadiums has left Budweiser with a lot of beer on its hands. The company has an innovative solution to get rid of it.
Budweiser will send unsold Buds to the country that wins the tournament, the company said in a tweet. Budweiser confirmed the plans in a statement to CNN Business, writing that it “wants to bring this celebration from the FIFA World Cup stadiums to the fans of the winning country.”
“We will host the final celebration of the championship for the winning country. Because, for the winning fans, their team has conquered the world. More details will be shared as we get closer to the final,” an Anheuser-Busch InBev spokesperson said in a statement.
New Day, New Tweet. Winning Country gets the Buds. Who will get them? pic.twitter.com/Vv2YFxIZa1
—Budweiser (@Budweiser) November 19, 2022
Last week, just days before the World Cup began, Qatar announced that all eight stadiums could not sell alcoholic Budweiser, leaving fans with only one beer option: non-alcoholic Bud Zero.
Qatar is a Muslim country which is considered very conservative and strictly regulates the sale and use of alcohol. In September, officials said fans with tickets could buy alcoholic beer three hours before kick-off and one hour after the final whistle, but not during the game.
“Following discussions between the authorities of the host country and FIFA, the decision was made to concentrate the sale of alcoholic beverages at the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and authorized venues, removing beer outlets from the perimeter of the stadium. stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar,” FIFA, soccer’s governing body, said last week.
Budweiser tweeted, “Well this is awkward,” though the social media post was quickly deleted.
“As a partner of FIFA for more than three decades, we look forward to our FIFA World Cup campaign activations around the world to celebrate football with our consumers,” an AB-InBev spokesperson said in an earlier statement. “Some of the planned stadium activations cannot go forward due to circumstances beyond our control.”
AB InBev paid $75 million for the FIFA sponsorship, according to various reports. So, the decision ruined the company’s marketing plans for the World Cup, as the decision drastically reduces its presence for thousands of fans at the World Cup. Arguably the biggest part though, its TV spots featuring soccer royalty Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr., are left unaffected.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will take place until December 18.