Did FIFA drink too much?

Football Association forces Brazil to ban alcohol in the World Cup venues
Did FIFA drink too much?
Publ. date 27 Jan 2012
Beer must be sold at all World Cup venues in 2014, FIFA has insisted. This means that Brazil need to change its laws. For FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke this is a non-negotiable: "Alcoholic drinks are part of the FIFA World Cup, so we're going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that's something we won't negotiate. The fact that we have the right to sell beer has to be a part of the law."

A very interesting quote. Is it the social responsibility of a sports association to demand law adjustments? And especially laws that were developed due to negative experiences in the past with excessive alcohol use during football matches. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the FIFA needed the help of local authorities to arrest the Dutch Bavaria Babes and in 2012, the organization is obliging the host country to distribute addictive products while this is illegal.

Bavaria Babes and ambush marketing

Major FIFA sponsor Budweiser did not make use of this opportunity. Low-alcohol beer products are a growing market and the increasing quality of the beer, make 'Buckler type' experiences fade away. That’s why this is an open invitation for ambush marketers. Alas, the Bavaria Babes are not showing up in Brazil because this is one of the few countries where Heineken bears the Bavaria brand.

The above makes clear that the FIFA seems to be a little lost. Because of their sovereignty, all sorts of demands are made on a World Cup by the FIFA. As a sports fan it will be interesting to see the future World Cup development. In 2018, water will most likely be exchanged for local Russian wodka and what about beer distribution in an Islamic country such as Qatar?      

Finch & Beak helps organizations developing senior management on sustainability and marketing. In January 2012, a case study is presented for IMD Business School in Lausanne on Bavaria and ambush marketing, sustainability and innovation. For more information on this subject, please contact us at hello@finchandbeak.com.

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