Anheuser-Busch has replaced long-term agency GCI Group with Cake on a sponsorship brief for Budweiser.
The change follows a pitching process which included the incumbent, Cake and Capitalize, which withdrew because of a client conflict with Bacardi.
According to PR manager Michelle Norman, the pitch followed a decision to change the focus of Bud's sponsorship.
'After looking at our target audience, we decided that music and sports sponsorship was the best way forward,' she said.
Cake has been appointed to handle event and PR activity for music sponsorship.
Budweiser is understood to have set aside a pounds 2m budget to spend on music sponsorship in 2001; fees are rumoured to total pounds 300,000.
In 2000 GCI carried out a wider-ranging sponsorship brief including the 'B' programme which used 'style leaders' to promote the brand via film and design as well as music.
Activities included Budweiser co-sponsoring the V2000 music festival and the Bud Ice Bus visting events such as Radio 1's Love Parade.
Plans for the 2001 campaign are at an 'organisational stage' but Norman said the brand would continue with similar work and expand into other national and regional events.
Cake will report into sponsorship manager Richard Heaselgrave and work alongside Norman.
The agency change ends a 13-year relationship between GCI Group and Budweiser.
Anheuser-Busch only re-pitched its sponsorship brief a year ago (PR Week, 21 January 2000) when the brief was split between GCI and Consolidated Communications.
Consolidated retains the sports sponsorship brief which includes work for the 2002 World Cup.
Cake has also been appointed by Kellogg's to handle PR and marketing for the pounds 6m launch next month of its first non-cereal product, Real Fruit Winders.