The Rugby World Cup: A conversation for Asahi

Personally, there are two things that come to mind when I think of Rugby & France: the first being Antoine Dupont, the second being booze. Yes, there’s been an increase in alcohol-free drinks being driven by the more abstemious younger generation, but surely the options of flowing rivers of merlot and barrels of beer would tempt the most sober of individuals? Apparently not.

I’ve recently returned from the joys of the rugby world cup, and whilst my liver may have been tested, I was pleasantly surprised by the efforts of Asahi to accommodate a broader consumer base. Across the pitch, there were constant advertisements for Asahi ‘Super Try’ 0.0% with Asahi being the sole supplier of booze at the stadia – guaranteeing that every pint cup was filled to the brim with the Japanese nectar (either with or without alcohol).

Asahi’s presence at the Rugby World Cup isn’t just about the beverage; it’s a celebration of the fusion of cultures. Rugby fans from Namibia through to Uruguay come together to cheer for their teams or generally to cheer on the Flying Fijians (or typically anyone who’s playing against England…). This was a great opportunity that Asahi seized upon to broaden its consumer base and enable them to penetrate further into new markets.

After this great achievement, what next? Will they sponsor the next World Cup? Will they begin to focus on expanding in South America?

Personally, if they do sponsor the next World Cup, I think there’s a large opportunity in terms of either bringing some of their sub-brands with them which could be tailored to each team that’s playing (e.g. London Pride for England and Peroni for Italy) or they could bring some of their RTDs such as Woodstock & Major Major to really show off their breadth of portfolio and to appease the non-beer drinking fans.

Regardless of what they do next, it must be said that this is definitely a successful try rather than a knock-on.

By: Greg Barber

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