Asahi bets on World Cup fever for Super Dry growth

Asahi Super Dry  is the Official Beer of Rugby World Cup 2023, which kicked off in France on 8 September and runs to 28 October and Asahi Beverages is hoping to see a replay the excitement that swept Australia during the FIFA Women’s World Cup last month.

The brewer is seeking to boost the international profile for Super Dry through the sponsorship.

According to CUB, Asahi Super Dry is growing quicker than the overall premium beer market in both Australia and New Zealand and its support of Rugby World Cup 2023 is expected to lift demand and awareness even higher. 

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ injected billions into the Australian economy through travel and retail spending according to financial infrastructure platform Airwallex.

“In the current environment this has been a screamer of a goal for the Australian economy,” Airwallex ANZ General Manager Luke Latham told The Australian.

“The world game is living up to its name with our tracker showing international visitors have so far spent an extra $4.53 billion at Australian hotels and retailers.”

Merivale Group said more than 40,000 patrons attended its venues that screened the Matildas vs France game during the tournament. Hospitality group Solotel also celebrated record attendance across its venues. 

Endeavour Group CEO Steve Donohue said his executives hadn’t seen such a vibrant and lively atmosphere at pubs to watch a sporting event since Cathy Freeman raced at the Sydney Olympics, declaring people were “absolutely back at pubs”.

The world’s third largest sporting event

The Rugby World Cup is the world’s third largest sporting event and is predicted to attract an anticipated viewing audience of nearly 860 million viewers during the tournament.

Asahi Super Dry became the Official Beer for the tournament following a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, replacing Heineken. The tournament surpassed all initial commercial revenue projections, largely influenced by strong interest from Japanese and wider Asian brands in the major event.

At the time the deal was announced Asahi Breweries President Shiozawa said: “It is a great honour to be the first Asian company to be involved with Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, rugby’s most prestigious tournament, as a Worldwide Partner. Asahi Super Dry was born in 1987 when the first Rugby World Cup was held.

“We sympathise with rugby’s passion and core values, which involve facing any difficulties, respecting each other, and moving forward together. These values are also shared with Asahi Super Dry, which will carry the ambition to cheer for all teams, act positively and work hard together to unite the entire world. Asahi Breweries, Ltd. will look to share the excitement and unforgettable moments with everyone around the world, contributing to the tournament’s success. I’m convinced that the world can be united through this partnership.”

More recently Asahi President Katsuki Atsushi said that “the value of sports is rising steadily as a sales promotion activity” and he was looking forward to the advertising effect at the World Cup.

Jonathan Norman, director of global brands at Asahi UK, told LBB: “The partnership has played a really key role for the brand. It’s the first time we’ve ventured into such a space and on such a big, global sporting property. The audience numbers are there for everyone to see. It’s about 850 million rugby fans across the world.

“For us and for our brand we’ve got a huge ambition. We’re currently Japan’s number one beer brand. But our ambition is certainly bigger than that and global as well. And what a partnership such as the Rugby World Cup enables us to do is talk to many more people globally.” 

Asahi breaks world record

Earlier this week Asahi Group smashed a Guinness World Record as Rugby World Cup fever took hold in Japan.

A 10,000-strong crowd of rugby fans at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium for the RWC public viewing between Japan and Chile on September 10 set a Guinness World Record for “the most people toasting online and at a single venue simultaneously”, with 1026 people saying cheers.

“We’re looking forward to creating more shared moments of shared joy and experiences not only in France and Japan but also in many other parts of the world with Asahi Super Dry,” the brewer said.

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