Chelsea Continues Asian Expansion after Myanmar Whisky Deal

By Community | October 10, 2012

Myanmar based, International Beverage Trading Company (IBTC), which dominates the spirits market in Myanmar, has secured a deal with European champions Chelsea FC for its flagship brand, Grand Royal Whisky, to become the club’s official whisky.

The tie-up, brokered by Sports Revolution, is important not only for the brands involved but also because it marks the first such advertising partnership between a Myanmar-based company and a prominent Western brand following the country’s liberalisation reforms. 

The deal will allow the beverage maker co-brand its own merchandise with the football club’s logo. IBTC already claims to have 80 per cent of the market in the whisky segment.

“Grand Royal Whisky is a long-standing supporter of local football, and is now able to exploit the popularity of the English Premier League in Asia and increase its own exposure directly to these local markets,” said Stephen Marsh, managing director, Sports Revolution Asia.

Several other Southeast Asian brands have been showing strong interest in the English Premier League recently, as more and more Asians acquire a taste for the sport. Myanmar is no exception. Last month, Jamaican telecommunications company Digicel, which is expanding operations in Myanmar, signed an MOU with the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) for sports development in the country.

Sports Revolution said the IBTC deal supports Chelsea’s strategy of raising its profile within Myanmar and Asia as a whole. Chelsea is set to visit Myanmar during its 2013 pre-season tour.