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SAB successfully supports 2010 world cup

16 July 2010

 Johannesburg: The South African Breweries Limited (SAB) is pleased to announce that it successfully supported the FIFA World Cup, with sales volumes slightly ahead of expectations and a lasting legacy left through investments in township taverns.

The company had two key objectives, which were to contribute to SA hosting one of the best FIFA World Cups ever; and to help build national unity and rally South Africans behind the national team, Bafana Bafana.

SAB believes it has achieved these objectives, having worked closely with retailers to ensure that no fans went thirsty and demand was fully met. In addition, SAB invested in building national unity and pride through several Castle Lager campaigns and marketing in support of the FIFA World Cup, and left a lasting legacy for South Africans by investing in infrastructure in SA's townships.

SAB was the founding sponsor of professional soccer in SA and has been committed to South African football for 50 years. SAB has sponsored Bafana Bafana since 1992 and has been an integral contributor to the three World Cup bids that eventually brought the tournament home to Africa.

SAB MD Norman Adami says: "The tournament has been a great demonstration of what we South Africans can accomplish when we pull together. South Africans united to make the FIFA World Cup a world class event and a true spectacle, and we are proud of the role that we as SAB played in achieving this.

"While this was an opportunity to sell beer, for SAB it was much more about making a contribution to SA in terms of demonstrating that we could be a world class host."

Adami says SAB implemented a detailed plan to ensure that the country was well stocked and supplied.

This paid off, with SAB sales volumes for the five week FIFA World Cup period having come in slightly ahead of the original sales estimate of 100 000 hectoliters. SAB sold an additional 130 000 hectoliters, which equates to 44-million x 340ml beers. This was over and above normal consumption during the June/July period. This extra volume will support SAB's financial results for the first quarter of 2010, which were otherwise restrained by Easter timing and the cold weather.

The increased sales took place across SAB's portfolio of products, with Castle Lager and Castle Lite proving to be particularly popular with consumers along with Hansa and Carling Black Label. Of the international premium brands, Grolsch, Millers and Peroni resonated well with foreign visitors as well as local supporters, with the draught offering being particularly popular.

While South Africans and foreigners supported the soccer matches at the official stadiums, the majority of people watched the games at home, in sports bars, restaurants and taverns as well as in fan fests and viewing sites around the country.

Adami says that SAB recognised the magnitude of the opportunity that the World Cup presented for the country, and decided to make a substantial contribution to the event, despite the fact that the company was not an official sponsor of the tournament.

This resulted in SAB investing an estimated R170-million in the World Cup. One of the key initiatives which will have long-term benefits for the country was an investment of over R40 million in the "Castle Kingdoms" initiative. More than 550 taverns and bars in 42 townships have been transformed via an infrastructure upgrade into bright, inviting and rejuvenated soccer themed venues, which will leave a lasting legacy.

Further, SAB introduced a number of innovations, namely:

1. Produced an easy opening can with a lid that's completely removable, allowing the can to serve as a cup. The can proved to be very popular and will be used at selected events in the future;
2. Introduced a speed bar which was well received by retailers as it allowed them to manage congestion in high traffic areas. Speed bars proved to be particularly popular in taverns around the stadiums where fans congregated before and after the matches. SAB provided a robust, aesthetically pleasing bar counter with upright fridges, and will continue to use speed bars at events in the future;
3. Produced a limited run of 1-million aluminum bottles which are a first in packaging in the South African beer market. This collector's edition is a limited pack and is available as a collectors item in selected bottle stores and bars.

SAB also invested in several campaigns to support the role of the Castle Lager brand in the World Cup. These included Castle Superfans, which was launched in October 2009, and was aimed at rallying the nation to get behind Bafana Bafana on their journey to hosting the World Cup.

This was followed by the Bula Boot campaign, which was a metaphor for SAB's hospitality with a strong focus on responsible drinking. It involved 2 person teams driving to venues - a designated driver and a host. There were 100 teams of 2 people in the nine host cities who travelled to major events, and invited people arriving at the events to have a drink and a snack.

SAB focused on encouraging both local and visiting football fans in South Africa to drink responsibly during the tournament period. SAB has long been committed to fighting the effects of alcohol abuse. The company launched a hard hitting set of initiatives last year aimed at combating the harmful use of alcohol. Further, the concept of a designated driver formed an integral part of Castle's Bula Boot campaign, in order to dissuade fans from drinking and driving.

For further information, please contact Robyn Chalmers on 082 924 2267 or Benedict Maaga on 079 890 7300

Notes to editors:

SAB FIFA World Cup Preparations:

SAB focused on ensuring that it was well prepared both operationally and logistically. Procedures to ensure all retailers were well stocked and that there were reserves included increasing brewing in April and May ahead of the event; refrigerated vans with stock being on standby in key match areas to replenish fridges; and dedicated telephone numbers being set up whereby customers could dial in should they require emergency supplies.

In addition, all of SAB's 56 000 outlets were servicing customers during the World Cup, not just in the nine host cities, but across the country, including in rural and metropolitan areas.

SAB estimated that the company covered about 4-million km in additional travel to service the fan zones and traditional retailers through its distribution network, with SAB's total distribution network covering approximately 35-million km in any given year.

SAB's Support for soccer and the FIFA World Cup

SAB has a long history of supporting sport in South Africa and it is a key focus of the company's business strategy of operating as a corporate and societal leader. The company has been involved in supporting South African football for 50 years and Castle has been the premier sponsor of the national football team since 1992.

SAB has actively supported SA's bid for the World Cup over the past decade, having been involved in the bid for the event in Korea in 2002 and in Germany in 2006. SAB also supported the successful bid by SA to host the games this year.


SAB's measures to encourage responsible drinking:
- SAB last year launched a number of initiatives aimed at tackling alcohol abuse through a series of targeted actions which go beyond communications and education. These included working with local and provincial law enforcement to launch Alcohol Evidence Centres, housing cutting edge facilities to assist the enforcement and prosecution of drunk drivers; and a hard hitting advertising campaign raising awareness of drink driving issues.
- Six Alcohol Evidence Centres have already been opened in Soweto, Pietermaritzburg, Ekurhuleni, Ballito, Cape Town, Tshwane and Port Elizabeth.
- The ‘Reality Check' advertising campaign was launched in October 2009 and has had extensive reach nationwide through radio, print and outdoor executions. The advertising will be continuously refreshed and will focus on messaging around drunk driving, underage drinking and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

This is an SABMiller subsidiary news release, first published in its local market on [15/07/2010].


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