Die Story | November 2022

For many fans, they simply belong together: football and beer. But is this really just a harmless combination of sport and enjoyment? Or is there more to it? Because football clubs and breweries are often closely networked in Germany. Without exception, every club in the first and second Bundesliga is sponsored by a brewery and many amateur clubs also depend on money from the beer industry. Stadiums bear the names of breweries and beer advertising is omnipresent around football.

Alcohol causes great damage in Germany: 1.6 million people are addicted to alcohol, more than 74,000 die every year as a direct result of alcohol. In addition, there are cancers that are triggered by alcohol, as well as accidental deaths, violence, abuse, rape – all under the influence of alcohol. All of this is costing our economy around 57 billion euros.

In the Veltins Arena of FC Schalke 04 is what they say is the largest beer pump in the world. On average, 30,000 liters of beer are drunk at every Schalke home game.

The story “Football and Beer” takes viewers on a journey through the beer and football country of Germany, from alcoholic fans in the Ruhr area to local clubs with brewery sponsors to beer lobbyists and politicians in Berlin and Brussels. Because together beer and football are extremely influential.

Experts have long advocated bans on alcohol advertising in sports and stricter laws on beer consumption in stadiums. Our research shows how well the alcohol lobby manages to prevent this and how it exerts political influence together with football clubs and associations.

This film is current as of November 16, 2022, by which time Qatar had allowed the sale of alcohol around World Cup stadiums before and after the games. A few days before the start of the World Cup, however, an alcohol ban was pronounced for these areas. More information here.

A film by Paul Hildebrandt and Shea Westhoff; Editors: Jochen Leufgens and Arnd Henze

Original article in German


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