Anheuser-Busch has signed a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) that will see Budweiser as the official "international beer sponsor" of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

As part of the sponsorship, Anheuser-Busch has rights to use the 2008 Olympic Games logo for promotional purposes in China and 29 other countries around the world. This marks Anheuser-Busch's first sponsorship of a summer Olympic Games held outside the US.

"China is the most important international market for Anheuser-Busch, and Budweiser's sponsorship of the 2008 Olympic Games reinforces our commitment to supporting the communities where we do business," A-B CEO Patrick Stokes said. "We're proud to support the Olympic movement in China and wish the best of luck to the China Olympic Team as they compete for gold in Beijing."

Budweiser plans to support its sponsorship of the 2008 Olympic Games by using the official marks on packaging, point-of-sale materials, sales promotions, branded merchandise and other marketing programs.

The agreement also extends Budweiser's sponsorship of the China Olympic Team until 2008.

As the largest-volume and fastest-growing beer market in the world, China is the most important market for Anheuser-Busch outside the US, the brewer said in a statement.

The company's investments in the Budweiser International Brewing Co. Ltd. in Wuhan, the Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd. in Qingdao, and the Harbin Brewery Group Ltd. in Harbin total more than US$1 bln (RMB 9.1 bln).