Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch has struck a partnership with Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi for its Budweiser beer brand.
The agreement, which will reportedly run for three years, has kicked off with an advertisement focusing on the Barcelona captain’s career so far.
Limited edition Messi-branded Budweiser bottles are also being produced as part of the deal and will initially be made available across India, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, China, Vietnam, Spain, and Russia.
Messi joins fellow La Liga players Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, who play for Barca’s rivals Real Madrid, in partnering with Budweiser. The 33-year-old already has a sponsorship deal with soft drinks company PepsiCo.
Budweiser is currently heavily involved in soccer, boasting lucrative tie-ups with the Fifa World Cup, the Premier League, La Liga, North America’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), and England’s Lionesses, as well as Juventus and Ajax, the domestic champions in Italy and the Netherlands respectively.
The signing of Messi as a global ambassador comes just days after he announced he would be staying at Barca, having tried to force through a move from the club. Messi had hoped to activate a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free, only for Barca to insist his €700 million (US$824 million) release clause would have to be met in full. He will be free to leave at the end of the 2021/22 season.