Euro 2008: The Corporate Fanzone

We don’t normally think of ourselves as mindless stooges falling for every stupid beer ad. But at an Irish bar last week during the Turkey-Germany semifinal (and during the long blackouts that ruined the game), we noticed the bartenders were all wearing Carlsberg hats and shirts. A lot of people were drinking Carlsberg. Before we knew why, we ordered a Carlsberg. It seemed natural.

It turns out that Carlsberg, the official beer of Euro 2008, was on special at that New York bar—and just about everywhere else. Contributing to the near $400 million UEFA got from tournament sponsors, the brewer spent a third of its worldwide marketing budget on a Euro blitz meant to attract soccer fans in places like China, Singapore and the U.S. Over in Austria and Switzerland, it was the only beer permitted in the huge fanzones, and special measures were taken to keep out other products. Read about money and the official motor oil of the World Cup at ESPN.

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