The $64K Question: Why is Budweiser sponsoring soccer?

Multiple sources state that FIFA filed charges against Bavaria beer company for the ambush marketing during the Nederland – Denmark match. During the game a group of women dressed in the traditional for the Dutch fans orange had Bavaria logos on their outfits. According to FIFA this violated the sponsorship rights of Budweiser and the organization felt it ought to protect its sponsor by filing a lawsuit against the company and arresting a few of the women. At this point nothing is official but many questions come to mind some of which legal in nature—under what jurisdiction falls this lawsuit? What are the charges? Where are the boundaries – if I go to a game with an Under Armor shirt will I be arrested? Will I be arrested only if Under Armor gave me the shirt for free? If a bunch of friends go to a game with jerseys purchased years ago and their team had changed sponsors meanwhile will they be escorted out? I’m not a lawyer but the common sense tells me that FIFA will have its hands full with this one. This is their official page on rights protection. Now, there is another question that really interests me – why in the world is Budweiser sponsoring FIFA World Cup when a few in the US watch soccer and a few outside US drink Bud? What are the opportunity costs? I would imagine them to be huge as it is quite pricy to partner in the most watched sports event. Any possible strategic long term reasoning calls for a leap of imagination beyond my abilities.  Enlighten me and I’ll buy you Bavaria!

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