SAB partners with Sascoc, TeamSA to take moderate drinking conversation to 2024 Olympics

SAB’s new alcohol-free premium beer, Corona Cero. SUPPLIED.

SAB’s new alcohol-free premium beer, Corona Cero. SUPPLIED.

Published Jun 28, 2024


South African Breweries (SAB) this week revealed that it has partnered with TeamSA and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) as part of taking the conversation of responsible and moderate drinking through non-alcoholic beers to the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in Paris.

This comes amidst a growing shift among tobacco and alcohol manufacturing companies about responsible use and a move towards less harmful and health-conscious products.

SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac on Wednesday said they remained committed to accelerating continued progress towards responsible alcohol consumption and moderation.

Rivett-Carnac said this was why SAB’s new alcohol-free premium beer, Corona Cero, has become the first beer brand to be a global partner of the 2024 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Paris.

He said this partnership illustrated the opportunity for the beer category to positively impact and engage with the South African fans as they cheer for their favourite teams and athletes.

“So in January this year we announced our global announcement that our new zero alcohol beer, Corona Cero, is going to be the sponsor of the Olympic Games and this highlights our commitment both to sport but also to responsible consumption,” Rivett-Carnac said.

“We partnered first with the Springboks over 40 years ago. We have supported them continuously for 40 years through some good times, some bad times and obviously more recently some very good times. But we've also partnered with Bafana Bafana and the Proteas for more than 30 years, and it's something that's very close to our hearts. The reality is that sport and beer really go well together.

“We passionately believe that beer as a drink of moderation is something that's enjoyed while watching sports with friends and so that is why this partnership today is so important. We see the role that SAB and the brands we have supporting sports, in particular Castle Lager, over many many years and now obviously Corona Cero supporting the Olympics and the Paralympics.”

SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac, Sascoc President Barry Hendricks, SAB vice president of marketing Vaughan Croser, SAB vice president for corporate affairs Zoleka Lisa, and some executives at the launch of the Corona Cero and Sascoc partnership to support TeamSA at the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in Paris. SUPPLIED.

Sascoc President, Barry Hendricks, said they were excited about the first-of-a-kind partnership with SAB as we embark on the journey to the Paris Olympic Games.

“Definitely we want to see more of those golden moments, especially on the various sporting codes that we'll witness within the Olympics,” he said.

SAB vice president of marketing, Vaughan Croser, said they had not disclosed the amounts that SAB was investing into this partnership, but it was “a significant amount”.

“The partnership will run for this current Olympic Games 2024, right through to the 2028 Games. We are invested in sports, it is something that we do over the long term,”Croser said.

“We create these partnerships, because we understand how important they are for our brand, but also how passionate consumers are about them, and hence this, I think this very clever creative idea around golden moments.”

Containing 0% alcohol, Corona Cero allows for moderate enjoyment, while the addition of Vitamin D offers a nutritional benefit, ensuring a refreshing experience.

SAB vice president for corporate affairs, Zoleka Lisa, said that as a consumer goods company, SAB continued to evolve according to its customer needs.

“Five years ago we introduced Castle Free. So, it's a journey we are on following the research and the insights around what some of our consumers are looking for and wanting. It's core to how our strategy is being implemented,” Lisa said.

“We want to lead and grow this category responsibly. And in doing so, we are going to introduce not only products, occasions, but experiences that really meet consumer needs.

“Corona Cero has been a breath of fresh air in the portfolio. We had Castle Free a few years back, and I think Cero is going to come with the halo effect of Corona to really say to South Africa, try non-alcoholic, give it a shot.”