Op-Ed: Soccer: Budweiser to sponsor the FA Cup

Posted Jun 16, 2011 by Christopher Bates
In an unexpected announcement, the Football Association (FA) has announced that, as of next season, Budweiser will be sponsoring the FA Cup.
The FA Cup
The FA Cup
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While it seems strange for the all-American beer to sponsor the oldest association soccer competition in the world, the deal may be more lucrative than first thought.
The thrilling knock-out competition, which was sponsored by German energy company E.ON for the last five years, saw 759 teams enter in 2010/11.
The sponsorship deal will last for three years, and is believed to be worth a total of £24 million ($38.7 million).
Having sponsored almost every globally established sporting competition in the world, this is what the FA Cup needs in its quest to capture a global audience.
Personally, the FA Cup is my favorite sporting competition in the world, however outside of the United Kingdom, very few people have heard of it. The drama and excitement doesn't compare to any other competition, especially when underdogs eliminate Premiership opposition.
Alex Horne, FA General Secretary, said: "We are extremely pleased to have secured an iconic brand such as Budweiser to be the lead partner of the FA Cup."
In what is probably considered the biggest upset in FA Cup history, Hereford United, then of the Southern League, defeated Newcastle United after extra time. Malcolm Macdonald scored in the 82nd minute to give Newcastle the lead, however, it was just three minutes later when Ronnie Radford equalized with a spectacular 30-yard strike. Ricky George scored the winning goal for Hereford in the 103rd minute, having only been on the pitch for 20 minutes. The FA now presents an annual Ronnie Radford award, aimed to recognize the biggest FA Cup giant-killings.
In more recent history, semi-professional club, Havant & Waterlooville, faced Liverpool at Anfield. Nobody expected Havant to put up much of a fight, but they were unexpectedlu in the lead on two occasions. Liverpool eventually proved too strong, fighting back to clinch a 5-2 victory. Despite the final score, Havant's 6,000 roaring fans were over the moon with their team's performance.
1988/89: Sutton United 2 - 1 Coventry City
2007/08: Liverpool 1 - 2 Barnsley
2007/08: Barnsley 1 - 0 Chelsea
2010/11: Stoke City 5 - 0 Bolton Wanderers