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QSC Rolls Out Red Carpet For Club Bud In Beijing

16 September 2008


Away from the action on track and field, Velodrome and Water Cube, there was plenty of social ambience at the recent Beijing Olympics.

For aside from their many other duties in new-build sporting facilities across the city QSC Audio systems were also deployed in Club Bud, Budweiser’s hospitality venue.

The beer giant presented its largest Olympic party venue every Friday for the duration of the Games, giving journalists a sneak preview during the opening ceremony.

Designed by Image Design Studio of Italy, the venue was located in the National Agricultural Exhibition, a massive conference centre measuring roughly four storeys high. Invited guests were invited to walk down a red carpet past a barricade and stage for the media before entering a circular grand entryway.

From the lobby, guests could exit to one of three areas: a club area, a lounge area or an outdoors area with a swimming pool. Each had its own bar and DJ booth.

The first Club Bud had been held at the Torino Winter Olympics 2006 — measuring 1,800 sq. meters, holding 1,000 people and hosting four parties.In Beijing, Budweiser doubled the size, the invitation list and number of parties it would throw. In Beijing they built a 3,600 sq. metre area that would hold 2,000 people and host eight parties.

Needing a series of high-pedigree sound systems, they returned to Torino for their audio supply, where A.d.M. EVENT — a major user of QSC components in their hire fleet — were ready to respond.

Based in Rivalta, near Turin, A.d.M. EVENT, run by Andrea de Marco, purchased all its QSC equipment from the company’s Italian distributor AudioLink. They supplied QSC PowerLight series amplification to drive the system in the discotheque, with signal processing and transport implemented by QSC’s proprietary BASIS™ 922az devices via the built-in CobraNet network.

AudioLink’s Giammario Piumatti was deployed to Beijing to assist with the set-up and assist with the QSC BASIS programming.

As a result, the lounge area was served by QSC HPR-122’s, while four further HPR-122 and a pair of HPR-181’s played out to the swimming pool area. Finally, a further pair of HPR-122’s were stationed at the entrance to the Reception area.

After raising the brand's awareness at the Winter Olympics in Italy, Budweiser executives’ aim was to do the same in Beijing, with point-of-sale promotions in Shanghai and Guangzhou, and a sweepstake.

"To set something up like this in Beijing — where we're not as strong as we are in Shanghai and the south of the country — has allowed us to start establishing the brand in this market," said Bruce Hudson, senior director of international sports marketing.

The Beijing parties ran from 9pm to 4am, with the guest list including athletes, local celebrities, customers and hospitality guests.

Opening with the MTV China party it was followed by theme nights featuring Feng Shui elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), a red dragon and a gold medal celebration.

"There were certainly American elements to the club, like the dancefloor, but it was important for us to integrate some of the Chinese culture into what we were doing," said Mike Thompson, senior manager of international sports marketing. "We really wanted to expose some of our international guests to the culture of China."
 
The disco area was originally to have been served by a QSC Wideline™ 10 line array, explained AudioLink MD, Stefano Cantadori. “But A.d.M. EVENT were informed that these could only be shipped back to Italy by sea during October — and they couldn’t afford to be parted from their primary system for such a long period!”

However, the exercise proved to be a huge success and Club Bud was clearly  the highlight of Olympic nightlife. Sales of Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser’s brewers) grew by 36 per cent during the final week in Beijing compared with the same week a year ago — and executives credit the Beijing Games with helping pump up sales.

 

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