By Sarah Brown, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Budweiser have taken over the 5-star Pestana Hotel on Avenida Atlantica along Copacabana’s beach for the full four weeks of the World Cup to host exclusive parties for special guests in the temporary christened, Budweiser Hotel. An official sponsor of FIFA since 1986, the beer company has been pushing into the Brazil market and set up the auspicious presence in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.
At a press conference to announce the venture on June 9th, Andrew Sneyd, Global Vice President Budweiser, said, “We are excited to officially open the doors to the Budweiser Hotel by Pestana. Our [campaign] focuses on football’s unique ability to unite a global fans base in celebration of the game and we are thrilled to bring fans from all across the world together at the Budweiser Hotel to celebrate the beautiful game with best-in-class entertainment and experiences.”
The launch of the Budweiser Hotel was on the first day of the World Cup, June 12th, with an opening party with DJ and music producer, Nicky Romero from Holland. Other DJs such as Fatboy Slim, Zedd, Above & Beyond, and Major Lazer have performed for guests, and partners like UFC and Playboy have hosted themed events too.
Ambev, the owner of Budweiser and Brazilian beverage conglomerate, is the powerhouse behind the launch and partnership with Pestana Hotel. They refaced the entire hotel with the brand’s logo and staffed the events using only Budweiser employees.
According to Forbes, FIFA’s major partners, which reportedly pay some US$25-50 million per year, are Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai Motor Group, Sony and Visa. Added to that are FIFA’s World Cup second-tier sponsors who pay in the range of US$10-25 million per year, which includes global brands like Budweiser, Castrol, Continental, Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s, plus European organic food producer Moy Park, Brazilian telecom company Oi and Yingli Solar, the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer.
The Budweiser Hotel is part of Budweiser’s global “Rise As One” FIFA World Cup campaign. Access to the hotel is selective to executives of Ambev and invited guests only, ranging from celebrities to footballers and friends of the event organizers.
Guests to the events experience the red carpet treatment with a bar and fridges filled with the golden bottles of beer in the reception, and a Bud Lounge on the third floor that is dedicated to football with especially fitted LED TVs to screen the matches.
The rooftop can accommodates 350 invited guests per night that enjoy the entertainment and panoramic views across from Forte de Copacabana (Copacabana Fort) over to Leme. In the center of the terrace features a large swimming pool for the pool parties that occur on Sundays, as well as a bar, large screen, and an elevated stage for DJs.
However, while guests have been enjoying the free drinks and music, local residents have hit back at the hotel after complaining of noise disturbance late into the night, breaching the Law of Silence. One Facebook user commented on the Budweiser Hotel page in relation to the noise, “the lack of respect this hotel has to the neighborhood is absurd!”
Budweiser seem prepared for this though and have launched the Budweiser House of Music (formerly Club Melt) in Leblon where exclusively invited guests can attend the after party in an attempt to obey the local noise restrictions.