Beer Diplomacy

by Mr Juggles

Crack reporting from the WSJ undercovers an industry previously unknown to me: Beer Diplomacy. The increasingly multinational nature of business will only increase the demand for beer diplomats and consumer products diplomats in general. We are actively seeking ways to increase our exposure to this sector and will advise readers appropriately.

From the WSJ.
Anheuser-Busch has been a sponsor of the World Cup since 1986. And it didn’t expect to find itself in this bind when it paid an estimated $80 million in 1998 for exclusive alcohol rights to the 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments…German newspapers were reporting that beer fans were furious about the prospect of drinking the American brew at the tournament…If Anheuser-Busch insisted on enforcing its exclusivity, it was clear it would annoy some Germans who wanted to drink German beer and generate bad publicity for the company.
So Anheuser officials undertook an unprecedented act of beer diplomacy. Tony Ponturo, Anheuser-Busch vice president of global media and sports marketing and the executive who signed the World Cup sponsorship deal…He proposed letting Bitburger [a chief competitor] sell its beer along with Bud at the stadiums and at some promotional events. In return, the American company would gain the right to use the name Bud, instead of just Anheuser-Busch, on billboards along the fields — and visible to viewers watching on TV at home.

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