Media: Heineken in rugby tie

Heineken has signed a pounds 1m broadcast sponsorship deal with ITV which will see the brand headline the channel’s rugby coverage until the year 2000.

Heineken has signed a pounds 1m broadcast sponsorship deal with ITV

which will see the brand headline the channel’s rugby coverage until the

year 2000.

ITV secured the terrestrial rights to all England matches played at

Twickenham and other UK venues earlier this year.

The channel is rumoured to have signed up former England captain Will

Carling to present the programmes.

However, the games will not be shown live as Sky has exclusive rights to

live coverage. Instead, the games will be broadcast after an appropriate


The deal, which was negotiated by media agency Motive, kicks off with

the England/Australia game on November 15 and covers a further seven

matches this season.

The sponsorship package will give Heineken a 15-second credit at the

beginning of the programme, a ten-second end credit and five-second

bumper breaks.

’We view the target market of the sport as appropriate to the Heineken

drinker,’ said Jeremy Wilton, head of sponsorship at Whitbread. ’This

further reinforces our commitment to and involvement in rugby.’

Heineken’s relationship with rugby began with its sponsorship of the

Rugby World Cup in 1995. In 1996, it sponsored the pan-European club

league, which was renamed the Heineken Cup. The brand is also due to

sponsor the Rugby World Cup in 1998.

However, the deal pitches Heineken head to head against rival brand,

Tetley’s, which last month signed up to sponsor the UK club


Tetley’s became sponsor and official beer supplier for the Twickenham

ground, the venue for five of the eight games to be shown on ITV this



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