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SBD Global/January 7, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

ESPN, Budweiser Partner Through FA Cup; FA Cup Launches 'Battle Of The Bands' Competition

ESPN is preparing a content marketing push in partnership with FA Cup sponsor Budweiser "as both brands look to exploit the global appeal of the tournament," according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. The deal builds on last year's agreement between both brands with the launch of a new Budweiser-branded "Here's to the Dream" TV show that will run during ESPN's coverage of the tournament. The debut builds on the "Every Match Counts" series that is currently being shown on the sports channel and documents fans' personal tales about the competition. The programs are being promoted primarily through Twitter, "with fans encouraged to share videos using the #ToTheDream hashtag." The move "marks the latest push from Budweiser to strengthen its ties to football in the U.K." (MARKETING WEEK, 1/3).

A BATTLE OFF THE PITCH: Meanwhile, the FA is launching a Battle of the Bands-style initiative to find an official FA Cup Anthem for '12-13, making live music a part of the FA Cup for the first time in its history. Six of some of the U.K.'s biggest music acts will battle to produce the soundtrack to the world's oldest domestic football competition, with the decision in the hands of the British public. Amongst the contenders are rapper Lethal Bizzle, grime artist Devlin and Leeds rockers The Pigeon Detectives (FA).
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