BELGIUM- Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has successfully secured its non-alcoholic Corona Cero brand as the global beer sponsor of the Olympic Games until 2028.  

The agreement, reached with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), encompasses the upcoming editions in Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028 (LA28), and the 2026 Milano-Cortina Winter Olympic Games, making AB InBev a worldwide Olympic partner as part of the prestigious TOP (The Olympic Partners) program. 

This historic partnership, inked for an undisclosed sum, marks the IOC’s first TOP collaboration with an alcohol brand. While Corona Cero takes the lead in global sponsorship, the deal extends to the United States, where AB InBev’s Michelob Ultra light beer brand will also sponsor the Los Angeles Olympics and Paralympics events. 

Marcel Marcondes, Chief Marketing Officer of AB InBev, expressed enthusiasm about bringing their beer brands to the Olympics, stating, “As we continue to invest to grow the category, we are excited to bring our beer brands to the Olympics and be a worldwide partner for these amazing events.”  

He highlighted Corona’s global reach, reaching consumers in 180 countries, and expects Corona Cero to accelerate the growth of non-alcoholic beer through this partnership. 

AB InBev’s move aligns with the industry trend of major beer companies focusing on the growth of non-alcoholic alternatives. In 2022, the company announced its expectation that 20% of Budweiser’s sales would be alcohol-free by 2025. 

In an interesting turn, Michelob Ultra’s sponsorship in the US is due to Constellation Brands holding the rights to import and sell Corona in the country.  

Jiri Kejval, Chair of the IOC’s Revenues and Commercial Partnerships Commission, emphasized AB InBev’s status as a natural addition to the TOP program, given its management of globally recognized brands. 

The IOC’s partnership with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) ensures that the AB InBev collaboration includes marketing rights for IPC events through 2028. This expansive agreement represents a significant milestone for both parties, breaking new ground in the Olympic Games’ history by globally partnering with a beer brand. 

The decision to center the global partnership around Corona Cero, a non-alcoholic offering, addresses internal rules against the promotion of brands deemed unhealthy.  

AB InBev’s CEO, Michel Doukeris, explained the choice, stating, “Corona is the most global brand that we have in the company, and this is a global partnership.”  

He emphasized Corona’s availability in over 180 countries worldwide, making it the ideal choice for a brand with unparalleled global reach. 

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