Homer BeerOkay so those of you that know me well know my passion for football (soccer in this country). I just got back from New Jersey this weekend after covering the USA versus Argentina Match and have been floating in the sky since half of my summer will be spent watching EURO 2008s, World Cup qualifiers, Olympic matches and world transfer rumors. But the story of the summer so far for me isn’t Mourinho to Inter, Scolari to Chelsea,  Modric to Tottenham or stories that the National BS Association is actually fixed.

The story of the summer for me came yesterday in the Austria vs Poland match. The match was an absolute snoozer. Poland went up 1-0 on a controversial goal in which the Polish player appeared offsides. The rest of the game was a bore and Austria didn’t seem to have it in them to win the game. But, in the 92nd minute, English referee Howard Webb (who had his doubters after his fellow English referees, Graham Poll, gave a player three yellow cards in the 2006 World Cup) awarded a controversial penalty to the Austrians after some shirt tugging in the box.

Up steps the oldest player in the tournament, Ivica Vastic, who smashes home the penalty kick for the host country Austria. He saved whatever chance the host country had of remaining in the tournament, but guess what else he won?

A lifetime supply of beer from Austrian brewery Ottakringer (check out their website and tell me they don’t have the coolest beer song in the background, it just makes me thirsty!). Ottakringer promised to supply anyone from the Austrian National team who scored a goal in the tournament with a lifetime supply of beer, which was later revoked today after tournament officials decided that it was in conflict with tournament sponsors like Carlsberg (who sponsor Liverpool so who gives a F what they think!) but Vastic will still get his booze.

So what does this have to do with SEO or marketing? It’s pretty genius if you ask me. Even if Vastic goes from world-class athlete to obese over-drinker and has a bottle of Austrian brew hooked up to him as an IV for the next 30 years, they will definitely see a return on investment from this move. It made front-page international headlines for two days straight, and since someone actually scored and they have to make right on the promise, it will continue to be until tomorrow. Not to mention the countless number of blogs and message boards that are writing about the story.

Their sales in Austria alone will likely triple after the beer-maker showed such great patriotism in giving their national team motivation to do whatever they can to help their team move on, and I’m not sure where in Baltimore they sell Ottakringer but I’m going to be sure to check around. Google trends didn’t show anything in the past few days for Ottakringer , but I’m sure in football-friendly countries all over the world it’s different.

To their marketing department: well in my son!

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