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SAB Invests In Supporting 2010 World Cup

11 May 2010

The South African Breweries Limited (SAB) has shown a strong commitment to supporting the upcoming FIFA Soccer World Cup, having invested an estimated R170-million to ensure the event is a world class spectacle.

These funds have been invested in infrastructure in SA's townships; Castle Lager campaigns and marketing in support of the World Cup; and a number of packaging innovations.

In addition, SAB has invested a further R300-million in its sponsorship of Bafana Bafana over a five year period from 2008 to 2012. The sponsorship is part of SAB's relationship with the national team which started in 1992 as the founding sponsor of the national team.

SAB MD Norman Adami says: "As a leading South African corporate, we have a clear obligation to demonstrate leadership in every dimension of our business. Given the magnitude of the opportunity that the World Cup presents for our country, we have decided to make a contribution to the event, despite the fact that we are not an official sponsor."

Adami says that 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.

In terms of SAB's estimated R170-million investment in the World Cup, one of the initiatives which will have long-term benefits for the country is an investment of over R40 million in the "Castle Kingdoms" initiative. This will see taverns and bars across the country being transformed via an infrastructure upgrade into bright, inviting and rejuvenated soccer themed venues, which will leave a lasting legacy. The company's efforts are being focused on 42 townships across the country which will see taverns upgraded.

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

The second campaign is Bula Boot, which is a metaphor for SAB's hospitality. It will involve 2 person teams driving to venues - a designated driver and a host. There will be 100 teams of 2 people in the nine host cities who will travel to major events, including sports matches and music concerts. The teams will invite people arriving at the events to have a drink and a snack.

Further, SAB will be introducing a number of innovations, namely:

1. Producing 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 will be available as a collectors item in selected bottle stores and bars.
2. Introducing the concept of a speed bar which aims to assist retailers to manage congestion in high traffic areas. SAB will provide a robust, aesthetically pleasing bar counter with upright fridges which taverners can use during periods of high demands, such as before and after matches.

3. Producing a new easy opening can with a lid that's completely removable, thus allowing the can to serve as a cup which will assist with glassware and convenience. The can is fully recyclable.

SAB recently reached an agreement with FIFA and the host cities to provide beer at the FIFA Fan Fests during the tournament. The agreement follows a recent decision by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the brewer of Budweiser which is the official beer sponsor of the 2010 World Cup, not to take up the opportunity of providing beer in the Fan Fests, although they will be using their pouring rights within the stadiums.

Besides supplying beer to the fan zones, SAB has a comprehensive plan in place to ensure that the country is fully stocked and supplied with beer during the tournament.

Adami says: "We have a considered plan to support our products and business throughout the tournament, and to use our wide footprint to reach the heart and minds of South Africans. We also have a strong business and operational plan in place to ensure there is enough beer to quench the thirst of both visitors and locals throughout the tournament."

SAB estimates it will sell an additional 100 000 hectolitres of beer during the five week World Cup period, which equates to 30-million x 340ml beers. This is over and above normal consumption during the June/July period.

The company has focused on ensuring that it is well prepared both operationally and logistically. Procedures to ensure all retailers are well stocked and that there are reserves include 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 set up whereby customers can dial in should they require emergency supplies.

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

SAB estimates that the company will be covering 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 will be encouraging both local and visiting football fans in South Africa to drink responsibly during the tournament period.  With the anticipated increase in demand for beer over the five week tournament period, the brewer is ensuring that plans are in place to encourage consumers to enjoy the company's beers responsibly throughout the duration of the tournament.

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 forms an integral part of Castle's Bula Boot campaign, in order to dissuade fans from drinking and driving.

Castle Lager 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 3 World Cup bids that eventually brought the tournament home to Africa.

For further information, please contact Robyn Chalmers on +27 82 924 2267 or Benedict Maaga on +27 79 890 7300

Notes to editors:

Castle Lager's Football themed initiatives: 

- Through its flagship brand, Castle Lager, which is the premier sponsor of Bafana Bafana, SAB will rally South Africans to get behind their national team in the run up to the tournament and beyond. A series of Castle owned initiatives will be unveiled in the lead up to the tournament, aimed at building national pride and bringing to life the spirit of the host country.

- The first of these initiatives was Castle Superfans, which was launched in October 2009 and is aimed at rallying the nation to get behind Bafana Bafana on their journey to hosting the World Cup. Castle Lager selected 1 Superfan from each Premier Soccer League (PSL) club and then took these fans to Germany to watch the team and to allow them to get to know each other - as they are arch rivals in the local league.

- The fans returned home to star in a TV campaign showing how Castle Lager is the unique catalyst to bring 16 fans from rival clubs to unite behind Bafana Bafana. The Superfans have become an integral part of Castle Lager's campaign to support the national team and will be embarking on a roadshow in the coming months through taverns, shebeens and bars across the nation to give away Bafana gear and create excitement for consumers. They will be visible on TV, in outdoor, in outlets live and plugged and in stadia supporting Bafana.

- Bula Boot will involve specifically trained, 2 person ambassador teams driving to venues - one person will be a designated driver and the other will be a host. They will travel to key events and show what true South African hospitality is all about.

- 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'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.

- Five Alcohol Evidence Centres have already been opened in Soweto, Pietermaritzburg, Ekurhuleni, Ballito and Cape Town, with additional centres in Tshwane and PE opening before the World Cup tournament begins.

- 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 refreshed in June this year 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 [11/05/2010].

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