By Barry Janoff
March 5, 2014: Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has unveiled a partnership with Fox Sports to produce and air what was called a "groundbreaking documentary series" showcasing six unique soccer stories from around the globe.
The documentary-style series is part of the Anheuser-Busch brand's integrated, multi-platform "Rise As One" World Cup campaign. The series is scheduled to be broadcast in more than 55 countries.
The first installment of this series, a Fox Sports Originals production, is scheduled to premiere on March 25 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on Fox Sports 1.
Marketing support includes TV, Internet and such social media destinations as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The launch spot comes with the theme of showing "how the beautiful game inspires the world to hope, believe and Rise As One." (See the full spot here.)
“The FIFA World Cup is such a powerful moment in time which enables the world to join together in celebration of the world’s most popular sport,” Andrew Sneyd, global vp for Budweiser, said in a statement. “We are delighted to collaborate with Fox Sports on this new series and through the Rise As One campaign, to share the many defining moments of football history with the millions of fans around the globe.”
Budweiser also said that it would be lead partner of the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival, an annual series of soccer cultural events that "brings together football and film enthusiasts to celebrate the beautiful game." Two episodes from the Rise As One documentary series will debut during the event, to be held in New York April 8 -11. (Details here.)
The six installments of the Rise As One series, under the auspices of veteran filmmakers Scott Boggins and Gabriel Spitzer, include:
• Power of Unity, which looks at how the Japan Women’s National Soccer Team overcame personal and national challenges following the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster to win the FIFA Women's World Cup that same year.
• Breaking Barriers, in which American and Iran teams go head-to-head at the 1998 World Cup and "amid volatile politics and intense scrutiny,."
• One Nation follows the French Men’s National Team during the 1998 World Cup to "help heal the racial splits within their nation and sport."
• Match for Peace goes inside an exhibition match between Brazil and Haiti that brought the island nation some solace in the midst of war.
• Forever Heroes follows the story of three members of the Zambia National Soocer Team 20 years after a 1993 plane crash killed their teammates and how the rebuilt club captured the African Cup of Nations.
• World War Truce tells the story of German and British soldiers during World War I who called a temporary cease fire to play a friendly soccer game.
(Programming details here.)
“The passion and dedication that unites footballers and fans worldwide is unrivaled, incredibly inspiring, and we are thrilled to partner with Budweiser to help tell these stories,” Michael Bloom, svp-original programming for Fox Sports, said in a statement. "We think that football fans across the globe will enjoy this series and learn more about how transformative and impactful the beautiful game has been.”
Budweiser Taps Into FIFA World Cup Effort
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