Carling in Premiership clubs tie-up

Carling, the Bass-owned lager brand, is to continue its association

with top-flight football with a £5m initiative that will aim to

position it at the heart of local communities.



Carling, whose nine-year title sponsorship of the FA Premiership ended

in May, will use the project, branded 'Forever football', to give fans

the opportunity to get closer to their favourite clubs.



The brand has signed deals to become the official beer of seven Premier

League clubs, including Arsenal and Manchester United, to maintain a

high-profile sponsorship presence around the country.



The other clubs involved are: Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Leeds

United, Leicester City and Sunderland.



Carling has secured exposure through TV-facing perimeter hoardings,

matchday programme ads and interview backdrop boards.



'Forever football' will also include a range of community-based

activities that offer fans 'money-can't-buy' opportunities to get closer

to their favourite clubs and players. Carling is planning a constant

promotional presence that will take the 'Forever football' name into

pubs and supermarkets on a regular basis.



Bass marketing director Mark Hunter said: "We have worked hard over

recent years to make Premiership football more enjoyable for fans. It is

now time for us to move on from sponsoring the league and work directly

with key clubs to develop community-level initiatives that bring people

closer to their club."



Carling, the UK's second-biggest beer brand behind Stella Artois,

sponsored the Premier League since its inception in 1992. Its most

recent four-year deal was worth just over £9m a season.



The 2001-2002 Premiership campaign kicks off this weekend. Barclaycard

paid £48m in May to become the league's title sponsor for three

years.



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