It was 1987 when the first-ever Rugby World Cup tournament was played, and that same year, the first-ever Asahi Super Dry beer was served.
Back in 1987, when movies such as Lethal Weapon and Dirty Dancing were released, and hit music from U2 and Guns n Roses was commonplace, the Japanese beer brand Asahi Breweries (now Asahi Group Holdings) launched Asahi Super Dry beer and at the same time, rugby nations held the inaugural Rugby World Cup.
Thirty-six years later, the two events are coming together, with Asahi Super Dry being France's official beer of the Rugby World Cup 2023. Asahi Super Dry and Asahi Super Dry zero percent will be served at all tournament venues across France, spanning 48 matches in nine cities.
Asahi Beverages New Zealand CEO, Andrew Campbell said the shared significance of 1987 feels pretty special.
“I remember the 1987 Rugby World Cup well, and like many Kiwis, I was particularly proud it was New Zealand that won the Webb Ellis Cup.”
It is auspicious that the two events have joined this year, and the beer and the tournament have grown from strength to strength. The 2023 partnership follows a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, reflecting Asahi’s ambition to introduce more consumers to Asahi Super Dry.
“When Asahi Breweries created Asahi Super Dry back in March 1987, its Japanese master brewers dared to be different and took inspiration from the dry taste of sake to create the world’s first Super Dry lager with a crisp, clean taste that doesn’t linger.’
Today, Asahi Super Dry is number one in Japan, and thanks to the innovation around production technology and quality management, the original beer and its alcohol-free Asahi Super Dry zero percent, are sought after worldwide.
The global partnership between Asahi Super Dry and the Rugby World Cup is expected to drive increased sales of Asahi Super Dry, including the zero percent variant, while elevating the fan experience, live in stadiums or at home.
Campbell said that in New Zealand, Asahi and Rugby fans have opportunities to win some amazing prizes from now until 27 August. Prizes include six double-pass trips to the Rugby World Cup finals weekend, including flights, accommodation, and game tickets.
“These prizes are unique and are likely to be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.”
Globally, World Rugby is delighted to welcome Asahi Group to the family of worldwide partners for the Rugby World Cup 2023.
In speaking of the appointment, World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont said it reflects our event's prestige and genuinely international appeal and the power of a growing, global sport to reach and engage new audiences.