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Budweiser extends World Cup soccer sponsorship

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA , the world's largest brewer, has extended its sponsorship of the soccer World Cup to 2018 and 2022.

The extension means that the beer maker will have sponsorship rights for the World Cups and Confederations Cups held in Brazil, Russia and Qatar and should aid its plans to expand Budweiser into a global brand.

AB InBev, which also makes Stella Artois, Beck's and Brahma, declined to say how much the company had paid World Cup organisers FIFA, but the company's chief marketing officer Chris Burggraeve said it was a "significant amount".

World Cup top-tier 'partners' paid an estimated $100 million each for rights to the 2010 World Cup. Sponsors, of which Budweiser is one, are estimated to pay 10s of millions of dollars for their rights.

Budweiser entered Russia, World Cup host in 2018, last year and launched in recent months in Brazil, host in 2014.

Qatar will host in 2022, when Budweiser will be the tournament's official beer for a 10th time. Budweiser can be found in beer cafes in some hotels in the Middle East.

"The host country is an important part of the decision," Burggraeve said in a telephone interview. "But the key is the impact on a global audience."

"We had a great year in South Africa (World Cup 2010) even though it's not a significant market for us."

25 Oct. 2011

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