It looks like Budweiser won't be the exclusive beer supplier at the World Cup soccer tournament after all. Although Anheuser-Busch had cut a deal to be the only beer vendor at the games and related
events in host country Germany, locals complained loudly about the deal because the brew is just too weak for their hearty tastes. So Bud relented and will now allow one of Germany's most popular
beers, Bitburger, to be sold in unmarked glasses--in return for a deal to use the Bud name in Germany for the first time. Bitburger is known as Bit, a name ruled too close to Bud, so Budweiser has
previously had to be marketed in Germany under the name Anheuser Busch Bud. A-B paid about $80 million for the rights to be the exclusive alcohol vendor to the 2002 and 2006 tournaments, giving
worldwide television exposure to the Bud brand as it tries to extend sales beyond the U.S. The deal was struck in 1998, before Germany was chosen as host country for 2006. The marketer is hoping this
year's games will receive more attention that previously in the U.S. because the American team is stronger than usual.
Read the whole story at The Independent »