Anheuser-Busch InBev secures Budweiser FA Cup deal

Anheuser-Busch InBev secures Budweiser FA Cup deal

Anheuser-Busch InBev has confirmed that Budweiser will sponsor the FA Cup football tournament in the UK, expanding the beer brand's links to sport in one of its fastest-growing markets.

Budweiser will sponsor the FA Cup for three years, Anheuser-Busch InBev said today (16 June), confirming speculation that it would replace E.on as the lead sponsor of the season-long tournament.

"A-B InBev is a long-standing supporter of football around the world," said the brewer's chief marketing officer, Chris Burggraeve. Budweiser already sponsors the FIFA World Cup.

While the FA Cup final is broadcast around the world, the sponsorship deal comes as Budweiser is making inroads in the tournament's home market. In 2010, Budweiser volumes rose by 36% in a shrinking UK beer market, albeit off a small base.

Last month, A-B InBev said that it would delay closing its Stag brewery near London for at least three years "given the very strong performance of Budweiser in the UK".

Its FA Cup deal may, however, put England's Football Association in a tricky position. It already has a deal with  Carlsberg, which sponsors the England national football team.

The 2011 FA Cup final, which took place last month, pulled in 8.5m domestic viewers.