A-B InBev merger with SABMiller could put a dent in sports advertising

The potential merger between brewing companies Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller would create the world’s largest brewer in a deal that analysts say could save the company almost $1 billion annually.

It could also dramatically decrease the amount of money beer makers spend on sports advertising. A former VP of sports marketing at Anheuser-Busch said the company could cut its spending on sports advertising by up to 20 percent.

Research firm IEG says that A-B InBev, the parent company of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, and SABMiller are responsible for more than half of the $2.9 billion spent annually on sponsorships with the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL.

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