Anheuser-Busch Extend Major Deal with SUM / MLS

March 23, 2011

A major multi-year renewal has been agreed between Soccer United Marketing (SUM), the commercial arm of Major League Soccer (MLS), and American brewing company Anheuser-Busch (AB) that covers MLS, US men’s and women’s national soccer teams and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF).

AB brands Budweiser and Budweiser Chelada will continue in their co-sponsorship capacity as the official beers of MLS for a furhter four years. According to an official press release on the MLS website, both brands ‘will continue to have logo rights for advertising and promotions, and co-branded promotional merchandise.

Under the terms of the agreement, Budweiser will continue to act as the official beer sponsor of the US men’s national soccer team – with global logo, advertising and promotional rights covering the United States’ involvement in World Cup events and the 2012 Olympics – while Bud Light will have a similar deal in place with the US women’s national soccer team.

Sports Business Journal (SBJ) is reporting that industry sources have valued the deal at more than US$10 million annually once all facets are taken into account.

Mark Wright, Anheuser-Busch vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing, stated: “Anheuser-Busch has a rich history in soccer, and we’re thrilled to continue our role as an ambassador of the sport through SUM’s top properties. Not only do we have a chance to grow the sport nationally through our sponsorships of Major League Soccer and the Mexican national team’s in the US, but Budweiser and Bud Light’s sponsorship of the US national teams allows us to reach soccer fans on a truly global level.”

Kathy Carter, SUM president added: “SUM is excited to announce our renewal with Anheuser-Busch, one of the most visible and committed corporate partners of soccer in the United States. A long-standing relationship exists between Anheuser-Busch and all three of these properties: MLS, US Soccer and the FMF. There is no question that Anheuser-Busch has been integral to the growth of Major League Soccer, a league that Anheuser-Busch believed in even before the first MLS ball was kicked in 1996.”

SUM holds all commercial rights to MLS; the United States Soccer Federation (USSF); promotional and marketing rights to Mexican national team games played in the United States; and the marketing and promotion of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. SUM also manages promotional and marketing rights in the United States for Mexico’s most popular sports team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas).