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Comment - "Oi! Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, Molson Coors: Outside! Now!"

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We all love a good dust-up, don't we? When company is pitted against company in the arena, we all get a bit carried away. And, the bigger they are, the more bloodthirsty we get.

I'm not being superior here. I mean, I'm as guilty as everyone else.

When I heard earlier today about Anheuser-Busch InBev's FA Cup sponsorship deal for Budweiser (set to be officially announced tomorrow), I dug out a release I received from Carlsberg this morning, and thought: “Ooh. Fight! Fight! Fight!”

Carlsberg appears to have tried to steal a march on A-B InBev here in the UK, when it chose today to unveiled its improved deal with the Football Association regarding the England national team. With England playing their home games at Wembley Stadium here in London, and the FA Cup Final (and semi-finals, but let's not get the purists started) also staged at the same ground, surely, there will be blood.

I'm not the only one that hoped/feared this is the case. Last month, the Daily Mail warned that the tie-up with A-B InBev “has incensed long-term partners Carlsberg”.

Well, considering that the Carling Cup Final takes place at Wembley, and that this year's Champions League Final was held there, if Carlsberg really is incensed, then it just needs to get annoyed at SABMiller, and that'd be a full-house of multinational brewers.

Of course, Carlsberg isn't “incensed”. It's improved its relationship with the England national team and wants everyone to know about it. That the brewer announced it today probably means an agreement was reached only in the last few days.

Consider, also, that the FA is short of cash (oh, the irony - the English Premiership is supposed to be the richest in the world), and that Budweiser is big into its sports sponsorship, especially in the US. The FA/A-B InBev tie-up, then, also makes good sense for the world's biggest brewer.

Ah, well. We'll have to look elsewhere for our blood-letting kicks.


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