Heineken extends Champions League deal by three years

Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:25am EDT
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By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Heineken, the world's third largest brewer, has extended its sponsorship of the Champions League, Europe's premier soccer club tournament, for three years.

The Dutch beer maker, whose flagship Heineken brand has been a sponsor since 2005, and European soccer's governing body UEFA told Reuters on Wednesday that they had agreed a deal covering the period from 2015 to 2018.

Heineken, previously a partner with UEFA through its Amstel brand, is the first Champions League sponsor to renew beyond the current 2012-2015 term, although German sports goods maker Adidas has extended as an official supplier.

Other current sponsors are Ford, Gazprom, MasterCard, Sony's PlayStation and UniCredit, with HTC as another supplier. There are reports that UEFA might look to add an airline as a seventh sponsor.

Both parties declined to disclose financial details. Sports marketing research group IMR estimates the current partnership costs Heineken $70 million per year, with the new deal worth more.

Heineken is the leading brand in the higher margin international premium segment of the global beer market, brewing 2.9 billion liters last year for consumption outside the Netherlands.

"As Heineken is available in 220 countries in the world and so is the UEFA Champions League, this platform really is to build the Heineken brand worldwide," said Heineken's global activation manager, Hans-Erik Tuijt.

Unlike rivals, such as Carlsberg, Heineken does not sponsor teams or individuals.   Continued...

A plastic container with empty bottles of Heineken beers are pictured among beer kegs outside a restaurant in Singapore August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Chong