Beer Sponsorship in Sport debated in Brussels

EPFL CEO was Keynote Speaker
EPFL CEO was Keynote Speaker

The EPFL CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros was the keynote speakers at The Brewers of Europe’s annual gala, held on 22 November 2012 at the ‘Palais des Academies’ in Brussels. Invited by the European umbrella representative association of more than 3,500 brewers across the continent, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros succeeded the President of the European Commission, the Portuguese José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, who were the keynote speakers in the 2011 and 2010 events, respectively.

“Sports are a driver for the economy, jobs and social interaction from grassroots to the professional level, and sponsorships are an important source of revenue that play a major role in the development of sport” Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros said in his keynote, and warned: “If the Eurozone crisis is to be resolved and vital sectors, such as sport and brewing, are to remain competitive and economically viable, then we need to be able to operate in a sustainable business environment. Any move to further limit beer sponsorship is therefore a step in the wrong direction.”

After his keynote address, the EPFL CEO was joined in a high-level panel debate by the Head of the European Commission’s Sport Unit, Michal Krejza, who, on the occasion, reiterated that “sport is crucial to the well-being of European society”, highlighting the essential role the brewing industry plays in European economy and society, as well as in funding sports, as described in the EU White Paper on Sport. 

“Beer sponsorships provide a lifeline for community events including sports activities, many of which would simply not happen without the support of local brewers and pubs,” said panellist Brigid Simmonds, Vice President of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association  and author of “Developing Partnerships in Sport and Leisure”.

Culminating the debate moderated by Simon Wright, from “The Economist”, Alberto da Ponte, in his last address to the Brewers of Europe, stated: “It’s easy to overlook the European brewing sector’s positive social, cultural and economic impact. We, as brewers, wish to remain strong supporters of local communities, a fundamental part of Europe’s social fabric and a leader in promoting responsible drinking.” 

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