SAB prepares for World Cup glory

SAB prepares for World Cup glory

SABMiller has upped beer production and set aside ZAR170m (US$22.4m) to take advantage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa next month.

The brewer's South African Breweries (SAB) subsidiary has ramped up beer production in April and May to cope with an expected increase in demand of 100,000 hectolitres during the five-week tournament.

Suppliers and venues will be given an emergency telephone number to use to call in fresh beer.

SAB said this week that it is investing ZAR170m in activities around the World Cup, from the refurbishment of bars to heavyweight advertising across the country.
     
The Castle lager brewer has around a 90% volume share of South Africa's beer market, but is under growing pressure following Diageo and Heineken's opening of a ZAR3.5bn brewery near Johannesburg in March.

A central part of SAB's World Cup plan is the ZAR40m Castle Kingdoms initiative, which will see taverns and bars across 42 townships redecorated and refurbished as football-themed venues.

During the tournament, which begins on 11 June, SAB has also signed a deal with FIFA to supply Castle lager to Fan Fest parks around the country. However, due to FIFA's exclusive sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev, the beer in the Fan Fest sites will have to be sold in unbranded cans.

SAB said that it has prepared three innovations for the tournament, including a limited run of 1m aluminium bottles that it hopes will become collector's items. The brewer will also supply beer in an easy-open can, which has a detachable lid.

Marketing campaigns will run alongside SAB's beer supply commitments. One campaign, named Bula Foot, will involve 100 two-person teams travelling around the nine host cities to offer snacks and drinks to people at matches and other events.

A campaign entitled Castle Superfans has been running since last October, around SAB's sponsorship of the South African national football team. The group said that it has invested a further ZAR300m in its sponsorship of the national team, which runs until at least the end of 2012.

Another campaign, launched last October and set to be given higher prominence in June, is 'Reality Check', which focuses on the dangers of drink driving, underage drinking and drinking while pregnant.