Pubs from Chelsea and Leicester are set to hijack advertising at the Emirates FA Cup Final match this weekend, as they take over Wembley Stadium connected by EE perimeter boards, screens, the matchday programme.
The official beer of the Emirates FA Cup is handing over its advertising space – some of the most high-profile in sport – to the finalists’ local pubs, which will share messages calling for football fans to continue backing their local pubs – which are intrinsic to the matchday experience.
Budweiser’s campaign is supported by Chelsea and Leicester City Emirates FA Cup legends Joe Cole and Emile Heskey, and will feature pubs that play a crucial role in the clubs’ culture.
The move recognises that even as Covid-19 restrictions ease, pubs are still battling for survival.
The Emirates FA Cup Final is traditionally a key weekend for pubs, but limited outdoor space and no indoor capacity permitted until May 17th means many are struggling for revenue – and following the Government’s difficult decision to close stadia, with limited re-openings imminent, matchday pubs have also been missing vital footfall.
More than 2,500 pubs have closed over the last 14 months* and thousands continue to miss out on crucial business – just as supporters have missed visiting them to celebrate victories or commiserate each other after defeats.
As the domestic season reaches its finale and the country looks forward to a summer of international football, Budweiser is calling on fans to show their support for their local pubs as well as clubs by watching matches from bars when possible and – when they feel comfortable.
Amar Singh, senior brand manager, Budweiser, said: “It’s great to see our pubs re-opening after what has been a hugely challenging year for them. We wanted to do something impactful, and that’s why you won’t see Budweiser promoted during the Emirates FA Cup Final but the names of some of the pubs that Chelsea FC and Leicester City FC fans know and love.
“We’re passing our sponsorship space over to these local pubs, to remind football fans that their match day pubs are ready to welcome them back for that pre or post-match pint.”
Former Leicester City striker, Emile Heskey said: “Pubs are so important to the matchday experience. They’re a place to have that camaraderie with your mates before heading to a match, or a spot to watch a game over beers with all the people you love around you. Soon we’ll be finally able to get back inside too, so it’s important to keep supporting your local pub when they fully reopen.”
Chelsea’s former midfielder star, Joe Cole added: “I love the pub! Pubs are a such a big part of our culture and a big part of going to the game. They’re an industry we need to keep supporting, and I think it’s great that Budweiser is giving up its sponsorship space to pubs at the Emirates FA Cup Final where all the football world’s eyes will be watching.
During lockdown, Budweiser Brewing Group’s Save Pub Life campaign funnelled more than £1.5m of revenue to participating pubs by letting people pay upfront for drinks to enjoy when venues re-opened, with Budweiser Brewing Group matching purchases.
Behind the scenes, it has also helped pubs secure lower energy tariffs, provided a discount on BT Sports subscriptions, with screening live sport such a key way to attract custom, and developed a platform to help landlords easily reclaim beer duty on unsold kegs.
Sister brand Stella Artois is also recently in its month-long Stella Tips campaign, tipping bar staff an extra £1 for every pint of Stella Artois sold in participating venues with a view to providing an extra £500,000.