What is Bud Zero, the only beer Budweiser can sell at the World Cup?
In May, with the U.S. Soccer Federation in a holding pattern for a year of discussions of its budget and the status of Major League Soccer‘s planned North American Soccer League, the two sides reached a preliminary agreement on Bud Light‘s sponsorship of the World Cup.
The agreement, which was not disclosed by either party, allows the public to see the “Bud Zero,” the only beer Budweiser and Coors Light can sell at the games, during the games, and will keep Bud Light and Coors Light from competing against the other suds in a world where, in addition to Bud Light or Coors Light, there are also beer products from local craft breweries, like Elysian Brewing Co., who’ll produce a beer called Hell To Pay.
And this time, Bud Light and Coors Light are no longer competitors—though they are part of the “official beer partner” of the World Cup.
“What is amazing is when you compare it to a beer being the official beer of another country, like Argentina having the national ale,” said Ryan Budzak, president of Elysian Brewing Co., about the agreement. ”It’s such a huge, big, important event.”
The agreement includes a sponsorship of, and a marketing presence in, the event that’s as much of a marketing opportunity for Bud Light as for Coors Light.
“We expect this to be an amazing opportunity for our fans, and for the entire country of Canada,” said Budzak about the joint marketing partnership with U.S. Soccer. “It will be the largest advertising and marketing campaign in soccer history in this country.”
There will be 20 Bud Zeros at the games, and all beers from the Elysian lineup will be available at every World Cup game. And, according to Budzak, “all the beers will have the logo of Bud Light on them, no matter if it’s Coors Light or Bud Light.”
And for the first time, at the World Cup games, Bud Light, as well as Coors Light, will serve the official beer at the stadium