Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bud's crashing the Beer Garden

The most advertising dollars spent this year by the American King of Beers, Anhueser Busch, won't be for the Super Bowl or even the Winter Olympics. Bud execs are turning their attention and dollars with the rest of the world to Germany and the 2006 World Cup as reported by Business Week.

While the American masses had their heads down in the cultural sand, Bud, Nike, Master Card recognized soccer is the world's most loved, most watched, and most global game. According to the article, in 2002, 1.1 billion people worldwide watched Brazil defeat Germany in the World Cup final, while only 3.9 million Americans viewed the game.

Nike, the pulse of cool in American sports, caught on early. American sports fans will be familiar with the swift force with which they worked their way into a obtuse golf apparel and equipment industry riding coat tails of Tiger's green jackets. What they might not have known was that while Nike was busy crafting dri-Fit underwear for Tiger, they were also working their way into the world soccer scene, acquiring uniform contracts with clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester United and national teams like Brazil, Mexico, and the US.

Now the rest of the corporate world is following suit, which has led some folks around the world calling the World Cup too commercial.

How will this affect the popularity of the game in the US, you ask? In a way this is a good sign, Americans tend to go where our cultural barometers of cool take us. You have probably already seen more commercials for soccer this year than you did in 2002. And because those 1.1 billion viewers of the World Cup final aren't going anywhere, neither will our faithful American brands.

This time around, it seems the American masses might just pay attention as well. As they say in Mississippi, I'll go anywhere they'll let you drink a Bud. But, I doubt they'll be filling the beer steins with Dale Jr's in Munich.


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