Japan: Rugby World Cup Boosts Beer Demand
The 2019 Rugby World Cup is taking place in Japan. In anticipation of the event beer demand has increased across the country. Alcohol retailers across Japan are preparing for increased beer demand during the Rugby World Cup, clearly showign how the Heineken sponsorship of the event fuels demand and drives the beer giant’s profits.
The Dutch multinational beer giant Heineken owns the sponsorship rights to the Rugby World Cup, which is being held in cities across Japan from September 20 to November 2, 2019.
Heineken is the official beer supplier for the event. Kirin holdings which has a contract with Heineken has more than trippled their beer production in September and plans to increase production by 2.5 times in October.
Rugby and beer has a pervasive and harmful alcohol norm. It seems Big Alcohol is doing everything possible to reap the profits by pushing more beer on World Cup attendees.
Bars in Japan are also following suit and stocking up more beer before the World Cup.
According to Japan Times, the organizing committee of the ongoing World Cup predicts that up to as much as 100,000 350-ml glasses of beer could be consumed per match at each stadium alone. The organising committee is said to be advising bars to stock up on beer and make sure they do not run out and spark complaints from the international attendees.
Apart from Heineken other brewers including Suntory Beer Ltd., Sapporo Breweries Ltd. and Asahi Breweries Ltd. in Japan have also increased their beer production to cash in on the profits.
Harms of normalizing alcohol through sports marketing and sponsorship
The sports industry has a long history of collaborating with Big Alcohol for profit. The alcohol industry in turn uses the opportunity to align alcohol – a harmful substance – with sports – an activity supposed to promote health and well-being. The negative effects, especially for children exposed to alcohol marketing are massive.
Apart from the contradiction of promoting alcohol with sports, Heineken has been caught up in many ethics scandals ranging from violating human rights to tax evasion and trade agreement violations.
Unfortunately as Japan has no regulations of alcohol marketing or restrictions on sales of alcohol, beer giant Heineken has free reign on marketing throughout the Rugby World Cup.