Budweiser Looks to 'Light Up The World Cup' at Moscow Club Bud Parties With Zedd, Diplo, Nas & More

Zedd, 2017
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Billboard Magazine

Zedd performs during Day One of 2017 Billboard Hot 100 Festival at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Aug. 19, 2017 in Wantagh City, N.Y. 

The tournament's official beer will also host other events around Russia and the rest of the world intended to "amplify fan energy and the feeling of euphoria."

As the world's best soccer players and their biggest fans flock to Russia for this year's FIFA World Cup, kicking off June 14, Budweiser is helping import some top talent as well. 

The Official Beer of the World Cup is setting up what it is calling the Bud Club at Moscow's GIPSY nightclub for 10 nights during the tournament with a concert series featuring Diplo, Zedd, Nas, Ludacris and more. (See the full lineup below.) Meanwhile, Budweiser is also holding boat parties to watch the matches with DJ sets during halftime and taking over the Intercontinental Hotel in Moscow, where it will host nine private parties on the rooftop and very intimate parties in the presidential suite for special guests. 

As well, the brand's global Light Up the World Cup campaign will also host events internationally with live streams aimed at amplifying the fan experience all around. According to parent company Anheuser-Busch, this is the largest campaign in Budweiser's history, all aimed at bringing people together over beer and a shared passion for the sport. 

Billboard recently spoke with vp, marketing, Brian Perkins and global experiential marketing director Talita Andrade to discuss how they chose their own superstar lineup of talent, assembling a campaign of this scale and channeling the feeling of euphoria that the World Cup brings.

How did you choose these acts for the FIFA World Cup?

Andrade: It's specially EDM and hip-hop because those are the two genres that we believe connect the most with our brand globally in all of the countries that we activate -- with the exception of the U.S., that is more focused on other genres of music. Outside of the U.S., we are very much of an electronic and hip-hop type of brand. We selected the world-class talents that we could have to be headlining those nights. Obviously, we wanted to have a variety of talents, too, from different countries. So, it's also part of what the World Cup is about -- about bringing people together, having different nations in the same place. So, making sure we have from different places that represent different crowds, to also please the international crowds that we're gonna have in Moscow during that time.

How did you select the venue?

Andrade: The venue was selected a couple years ago. We basically selected based on the relationship we had onsite. We already had a relationship with GIPSY. GIPSY is a very known club here in Moscow and it's also a club that can hold a lot of people. So, if I'm not wrong, we're gonna have an average of 2,500 people there every night.

We're doing a full takeover. We're adding a lot of special elements to the venue. In terms of decoration, we're changing the place completely. Our expectation is that it looks like the best Budweiser club that we can have around the world.

How will the space be transformed from GIPSY into the Bud Club?

Andrade: We are adding a lot of LED screens around the whole club. Music is a very important part of it, of course. Otherwise, we wouldn't be booking all these amazing talents. But the whole experience is super important. So, it won't be only about the music. There's going to be an immersion in the place. There will be combinations of a projection on the windows of the club. We're combining some technological elements.

Also, during the night, we're gonna have some surprise elements for our guests. We have a super cool dancing crew coming as well, from different countries of the world. We have people in our crew that speak more than five, six languages. We're going to have shows in between the DJs, in between the talents, in order to entertain all of our guests. In the end, it's about the whole experience, and music is definitely a strong part of it.

There's so much attention in general focused on Moscow and the World Cup right now, have you faced any logistical challenges setting up such a large, high-profile event with these big artists?

Andrade: So far, we've been great. We have the best partners, too. So, so far we have been doing fine in terms of that. The challenge right now is to find hotel rooms, to be honest, because it is so booked. But gladly we have our own Bud hotel, which we're gonna be also taking over.

The World Cup is such a massive event, there are so many different kinds of campaigns you could have run around it -- why this?

Perkins: Our whole campaign is about energy. It's based on some consumer insight work we did with football fans a couple of years ago, about what the World Cup means to them. The overwhelming thing that came out was that people view this as … a liberation and euphoric energy. People are excited and celebratory. That's a very natural place for our brand to play. So, the whole idea behind our campaign is to amplify that feeling of euphoric energy. Everything about our campaign is built to do that.

Whether it's the TV ad that's been running for a month now with drones delivering energy and Budweiser to football fans around the world, or whether it's the cup that we've developed that's going to go into every stadium in Russia, and also millions more to bars around the world. It's a beer cup and in the base of the cup it has a microphone and three red LED lights. The more you cheer, and applaud and clap, and the more energetic you get, the microphone hears these things and activates the lights, and your beer starts lighting up red. And so it's literally a way to amplify fan energy and the feeling of euphoria around the World Cup.... This is a big theme that weaves through everything. 

Budweiser's the Bud Club lineup:

June 14: Diplo
June 15: Ludacris
June 16: Oliver Heldens
June 22 & 23: Alok
June 29: Nicky Romero
June 30: Craig David
July 13: Nas
July 14: Zedd
July 15: Armin Van Buuren