Carlsberg Renew England Sponsorship as Rival Budweiser Sponsor FA Cup

June 16, 2011

Brewer Carlsberg has signed a sponsorship renewal with The Football Association (FA), extending the lager brand’s long-standing relationship as the official beer of the England national soccer team until 2014.

The deal is an improvement of the company’s existing sponsorship rights, and comes ahead of the FA’s official unveiling of rival company Budweiser as its new FA Cup sponsor today, June 16, replacing outgoing partner E.ON.

It had been thought that Carlsberg was angered by the FA’s decision to bring in Budweiser as the sponsor of the iconic domestic soccer cup, arguing it would breach some of its sponsorships rights.

The new agreement between Carlsberg and The FA gives the lager brand increased rights around pitch-side signage during international matches and is valued at around £2m (US$3.2m) by industry figures. In addition, Carlsberg will also gain greater rights around the use of player imagery and an entitlement to use the England team rights worldwide.

Peter Daire, head of sponsorship at the FA, said: “Carlsberg has been a long-standing and much-valued partner of the FA over the past 16 years. This new deal on rights around the England senior men’s team will be a platform to continue this long association well into the future.”

The issue of pouring rights at England’s home, Wembley stadium, will see Carlsberg available at international games and Budweiser at FA Cup matches.

Carlsberg’s secondary sponsorship deal with the FA Cup is understood to have been downgraded to a supplier agreement in the past year, and Carlsberg UK CEO Isaac Sheps added: “We know that when we activate around our England sponsorship, we see a great boost to sales and brand awareness. It is a great partnership and one that we hope will extend beyond the 2014 World Cup.”

The announcement that Budweiser will become the new sponsor of the FA Cup is expected today and comes after an extensive search by English soccer’s governing body after E.ON announced its decision to cut ties with the tournament after this years final, in 2009.

The FA is believed to be hoping to utilize the new deal with Anheuser–Busch InBev’s Budweiser, thought to be worth around £8m ($12.9m), to promote the FA Cup globally, specifically to push the brand in the US, China and the Middle East.

An FA source said: “It’s a great coup to get Budweiser as our sponsor. Many doubted we could attract a big name but this shows how attractive the competition still is. Regardless of what people say about the Champions League and Premier League, the FA Cup remains the world’s greatest club competition.”