This Bud’s for Britain

Budweiser is trying out a Web site sponsorship in England of World Cup soccer coverage.

The idea for the World Cup site was pitched to Budweiser by BMP Interaction, a division of agency DDB UK (London), Media Daily said. The result was a joint venture between Budweiser and Sky Sport Channel, in which each party provided 50% of the funding for the site as well as for the advertising, according to Phil Gerrard, senior account manager, BMP.

Funding specifics were not disclosed. The Budweiser site is managed by three BMP employees.

Visitors are able to access up-to-the-minute scores and team and player stats, to play several online games utilizing Macromedia’s Shockwave animation, or (in the UK only) to compete for prizes such as T-shirts, team jerseys, and game tickets.

There also are areas where visitors can learn more about the history of the World Cup, information on soccer stadiums, and radio and TV game broadcast times. Activity on the site has far exceeded Budweiser’s expectations thus far, Gerrard said, and traffic is expected to increase as the playoff games–which are several months away–draw closer.

Budweiser is using the site to make an impact on the company’s target audience–18- to 24-year-old males. “We had a very limited budget for this project,” said Gerrard, “so it was suggested that the bottler go with a co-sponsor for the site rather than build one on its own.”

He indicated that Sky (a subscription-only satellite channel with 2 to 3 million subscribers in the UK) had a very strong presence among the same demographic so a co- sponsorship made sense.

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