Corona-maker AB InBev to have first beer sponsorship with the Olympics

'The low-alcohol space is a great opportunity,' says AB InBev CEO

Anheuser-Busch InBev has scored a sponsorship for the upcoming Olympic Games, making it the first beer brand to ever sponsor the event.

The International Olympic Committee announced its worldwide partnership with the world’s biggest brewing company on Friday, saying the team-up will stretch from the upcoming Paris 2024 Summer games to Los Angeles 2028 Summer games.

The IOC specifically highlighted Corona Cero as the beer of choice for the partnership. Corona Cero, one of AB InBev’s non-alcoholic beers, contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, according to the company’s website.

“The low-alcohol space is a great opportunity,” Doukeris told CNBC’s Arabile Gumede on Friday.

Doukeris also noted that the beer industry has remained resilient amid global supply chain concerns. It has a “characteristic as a category that is incredible, which is beer is local,” Doukeris said. “We source our ingredients locally, sometimes we grow our ingredients locally, from barley, hops … sometimes the bottles, the cans, [are] local as well. Beer usually does not travel a lot because we have breweries in the local communities where we operate.”

This partnership could be a comeback of sorts for AB InBev, which previously announced that it would be focusing its marketing efforts on sporting and music events.

That pivot came after the company faced backlash for its partnership with transgender influence Dylan Mulvaney, including conservative boycotts. Bud Light sales slumped in the wake of the protests, giving Modelo Especial center stage as the best-selling beer in the U.S. last May.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through 2032.