The second annual Women’s International Champions Cup is taking place August 15-18th in Cary, North Carolina. Like last year, four of the top women’s clubs from around the world will be invited to participate in the showcase. Different from last year? The nascent tournament now has a presenting sponsor.
Last week, Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev) signed a multi-year deal with Relevant Sports Group and the International Champions Cup that sees Budweiser become the first ever presenting sponsor of the Women’s International Champions Cup. In a summer where women’s soccer will take center stage, this move from AB InBev, a U.S. Soccer sponsor since 1986, is another indication of a brand providing financial support to continue shining a spotlight on the women’s game, but it’s also an indication of AB InBev’s longstanding commitment to the sport.
Four years removed from the U.S. lifting the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy in Canada, people perhaps underestimated the reach and star power of the team and its players. For AB InBev, this new partnership with the Women’s ICC is a method to keep women’s soccer, and soccer in general, at the top of people’s minds throughout the summer and maybe even capitalize on bonus buzz surrounding players who have a successful tournament in France. When the Women’s World Cup ends, look for advertising from AB InBev to shift towards the late-summer tournament held in North Carolina.
The notion of a large-scaled men’s or women’s event being the only thing to bring together both the hardcore and casual fan is long a thing of the past thanks to events like the men’s and women’s ICC that help fill empty space in the soccer calendar (and empty stadiums, as well). While AB InBev has been a long-time supporter of the sport, they’ve adjusted their every four years approach to one more endemic to the action-packed, nonstop soccer calendar that exists today. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
Note: the AB InBev deal also sees Bud Light become the official beer of the men’s ICC