The alcohol arena is one in which the fiercest battles will be fought. The fit between beer and football means that nearly all brewers are in some way or other actively promoting their products with the World Cup, according to Chris Grantham, consultant at brand agency Dragon Brands. He says that of all companies looking to tap into World Cup fever, alcohol producers make up a large part.
&aquot;Certain companies feel obliged to make a World Cup link,&aquot; he says. &aquot;A mainstream beer brand will have to do something, as well as fast-food companies and retailers.&aquot;
You can see why, if predictions by Carlsberg are anything to go by. The company believes that take-home beer sales will be bigger than ever before and says the World Cup ranks higher than Christmas for its take-home sales.
UK take-home controller Ged Lowry predicts sales of beer this World Cup will eclipse that of four years ago due to more favourable kick-off times for UK viewers.
As the official beer of the World Cup, Budweiser is probably best placed to cash in. From February to May owner Anheuser-Busch has made World Cup tickets up for grabs as part of its Passport to Germany promotion, where a pair of tickets is given away every 48 hours. The company has also launched TV advertising campaigns to support the activity.
&aquot;This is the biggest integrated marketing campaign we have put together for our official beer sponsorship,&aquot; says Budweiser UK marketing director Jim Gorczyca.
Yet its reported $40m sponsorship deal has not come without problems. Due to a trademark battle between Anheuser-Busch and Czech rival Budweiser Budvar, the company cannot use the Budweiser name anywhere in Germany. Instead, the company will only be allowed to advertise as Anheuser-Busch Bud or Anheuser-Busch B. But the company hasn't been put off by events in Germany - it has already signed up as the official beer of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and in 2014.
Rival brewer activity includes a £50m flutter promotion from Scottish & Newcastle UK, the brewer's biggest promotion yet. Lambrini is also getting in on the act. Owner Halewood International is claiming the drink is the official sponsor of World Cup wives with its 'Lambrini Girls just Wanna be Footballers Wives' campaign.