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Qatar 2022 World Cup: How much does Budweiser pay to be an official FIFA World Cup sponsor?

There are a number of well-publicised elements that headline this particular World Cup, with alcohol companies getting their own taste of the regime.

Qatar 2022 World Cup: How much does Budweiser pay to be an official FIFA World Cup sponsor?
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It’s not unusual for FIFA’s showpiece international competition to court some controversy. Whether it be the safety and security concerns surrounding the build-up to South Africa 2010, the lack of funding to prepare adequately in Brazil 2014 or the numerous question marks linked to Vladimir Putin and the 2018 edition, recent tournaments have been littered with issues. Thankfully, for both the organisers and the fans, the football soon takes over and makes its own headlines. Now we’re in Qatar, arguably a whole new level of problems and corruption.

Qatar rules: millions of dollars, restricted visibility

The oily background behind the country being handed this global event appears to be as dirty as it gets, and human rights abuses are correctly filling newspapers, websites and broadcasts in an attempt to negate the sports- (and pink-) washing that is taking place. And another factor that should have formed part of the lucrative decision making process is the fan experience, something that is having a knock-on effect on World Cup sponsors.

As the first tournament taking place later in the calendar year, players and fans are being impacted in different ways. For many travelling supporters, being able to enjoy the experience with a tasty beverage -- or even a Heineken when nothing else is available -- is seen as a necessary element. But with alcohol restrictions in place across Qatar, things are a little more complicated. Just ask Budweiser.

The beer provided is paying around $75 million to be a main sponsor of the World Cup, but things aren’t so straightforward in Qatar. FIFA handed the contract to Budweiser which ensures beer exclusivity for the company, but a late change from the federation, via the highest echelons of the Qatari state it is reported, was that the tents hosting the refreshments had to be moved.

All eight stadia for the tournament have Budweiser-branded beer stations and with little notice they all had to be shifted to, it is believed, less prominent locations. Just what you want for your brand recognition. Although alcohol is not banned in the country, it is controlled, and concerns have been bubbling over potentially unnerving behaviour in and around the conservative Muslim population.

As more and more fans arrive, we’ll have a better idea of just how different the experience is this time around...