SBJ/June 11-17, 2012/Olympics

Club Bud is back, as A-B picks London site

Anheuser-Busch is bringing back Club Bud as an official party spot for the Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor recently secured a venue in London and plans to host three nights of parties, Aug. 9-11, during the final weekend of the London Games. The company’s U.S., United Kingdom and international divisions will be collaborating on the party.

A-B took Club Bud parties to Beijing, as well as to Turin and Vancouver.
Photo by: TRIPP MICKLE / STAFF
Sources familiar with Budweiser’s plan said the party venue will be similar to the one the company had in Vancouver, which was a 19,000-square-foot, 1,000-person capacity, multilevel bar that had a concert stage. The Vancouver venue had several bars, a concert stage, elevated seating and lounge areas that were adjacent to a 2,646-square-foot dance floor. There were live DJs.

The three parties planned for London represent a slight decrease from what the brand has done at previous Olympics. A-B staged four parties in Turin, Italy, during the 2006 Winter Games, it doubled that total to eight in 2008 when its Budweiser brand was the official beer of the Beijing Games, and it hosted five parties in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games.

Budweiser became the party planner for Team USA in 2006 after Sports Illustrated ended its two-decade reign as party host. Through the years, it has used Club Bud as a hospitality venue for key distributors and a way to garner media attention and buzz during the Olympics.

The venues have played host to many Olympians after competition, including snowboarders Seth Wescott, Gretchen Bleiler and Lindsey Jacobellis, and swimmers Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin. There also have been celebrity appearances such as “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm and singer Michael Bublé.

“It’s become the see and be-seen [spot] of the Olympics, which is a good thing for the brand,” said Mary O’Connor, The Marketing Arm’s vice president of Olympic marketing and global platforms, which does not work with Anheuser-Busch. “The Olympics are the place where all their key clients come together, all the sponsors come together and all the athletes come together. It’s not a bad place to have a party.”

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