The Barclays Premier League is passionately followed by fans from around the globe. The reach of the game has eager sponsors, with beer sponsors at the top of the list, ready to pour out a great deal to get the league and its teams to sign on the dotted line.
7 official beers and 1 official wine are tied to either the league or individual teams and send their message around the world while pouring a pint for the fans at the local stadium.
Carlsberg tops of the list of beers. The Danish brewery’s sponsorship portfolio has been focused on soccer for years. They have been the title sponsor of the UEFA European Championship since 1988. Euro 2016 will be their 8th consecutive tournament as sponsor. They sponsor or have sponsored club teams, national teams, and venues over the years.
But their biggest deal may be their most recent one. Carlsberg and the Barclays Premier League signed a three-year deal in 2013 for Carlsberg to be the “Official Beer Partner” of the league. The partnership will run through the 2015/16 campaign.
The deal was largely pursued to give Carlsberg a wide marketing reach (most of the club and national teams they sponsor have more of a local reach within the community) with great frequency (their other main asset, the European Championship, is every 4-years unlike the Premier League which plays over 38 weeks of the year every year).
“The Barclays Premier League gives us reach and frequency that we didn’t have before,” Michael Thompson, Carlsberg’s director of marketing said about the deal on IEGSR.com. He went on to add that ‘men in their early twenties are interested in beer, soccer and one other thing. We can help them with beer and football.’
The Premier League was ripe for the picking by Carlsberg, the world’s 4th largest brewer behind Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller and Heineken. They had been without a title sponsor since Budweiser ended their partnership in after the 2009/10 campaign. Other breweries tried to step into the void but could not get the backing of the clubs. The revenues from league partnerships are shared so 14 of the 20 clubs must agree to the deal.
Carlsberg was in the perfect position to sign on as the league’s sponsor as they were the club sponsor for 8 of 20 teams. They are the current Official Beer of Aston Villa, Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers, Southampton, Stoke City, Swansea, West Bromwich Albion, and West Ham.
Coming in a distant 2nd place in number of clubs sponsored is Singha. The Thailand-based brewery sponsors Manchester United, Chelsea, and Leicester City.
The popularity of the Premier League is Asia is evident by the growing number of fans as well as the fact that another Thailand-based brewery, Chang Beer, sees the value in being the official beer of a club.
Chang beer is arguably the most noticeable of the beer sponsors each week with their partnership with Everton. The Thailand based brewery is the only Official Beer that is also the club’s Jersey/Apparel sponsor placing the company logo front-and-center on the Everton jerseys.
The club sponsors are rounded out with 3 additional beers getting in on the action with UEFA Champions League partner, Heineken, being the official beer of Manchester City, Carling signing on with Newcastle, and Sunderland going Down Under to find a partner in Fosters.
Who is getting in on the wine action, you may ask? It should come as no surprise that it is Manchester United. The club had a huge proponent in wines with their former manager/wine connoisseur Sir Alex Ferguson. And as one the most marketable teams, the Red Devils never miss out on the right partnership opportunity. Casillero del Diablo, Devil’s Cellar, is the global wine partner for Man Utd…it makes sense.
Team-by-Team Premier League Beer Partners
Arsenal Football Club
Arsenal does not have a global beer sponsor for the 2014/15 season. The Gunners were included as part of the Carlsberg team from 2010/11-2013/14 when they kicked Heineken out of the Emirates Stadium but the 2 did not extend the deal this year. This does not mean Gunners fans are without their barley and hops. Fosters is licensed beer for Premier League matches. It does not come cheap. Arsenal has the most expensive beer in the league with a pint running $7.00.
Arsene Wenger’s side does have a Regional Beer Sponsor, however. South African brewery Hansa Pilsener signed a deal before the season that according to Vinai Venkatesham, sales and marketing director for Arsenal, help the brand reach the ‘millions of supporters in South Africa through creative digital media campaigns.’
Aston Villa Football Club
Carlsberg is the Official Beer sponsor for the Birmingham club.
Burnley Football Club
Burnley was promoted to the Premier League last season. The Clarets do not have a beer sponsor for the 2014/15 season.
Chelsea Football Club
Chelsea extended their partnership with Singha Beer with a new 5-year deal in 2012 which will see the Thai beer the sponsor through the 2016/17 season. According to the press release at the time of the announcement, the deal ‘further underlines Chelsea FC’s growth and popularity across Asia.’ Terms were not disclosed but the previous 4-year deal with the beer was rumored to be $2 million per year. Singha is the exclusive beer sold at Stamford Bridge.
Crystal Palace Football Club
Crystal Palace does not have an official beer sponsor for the current Premier League campaign.
Everton Football Club
The partnership between Everton and Chang beer is the strongest beer partnership in the Premier League. The 2 brands first signed their partnership in 2004 with extensions signed in 2005, 2008, 2010, and most recently in 2014. But this is more than a beer sponsorship as the Chang elephant logo is the front-of-the-jersey sponsor for the club as well, making it the only beer related jersey sponsor in the league at the moment. It is also the longest current jersey sponsor in the Premier League.
“Everton has enjoyed a special relationship with Chang extending now for 10 years,” Everton Chief Executive Robert Elstone said of the partnership. “In that period, we have grown to understand one another, delivered great work, helped achieve objectives and developed a truly great partnership and, indeed a friendship, based on mutual trust, respect and affection.
Hull City Football Club
Hull City does not have a beer partnership at this time.
Leicester City Football Club
Singha signed on as the first global sponsor for Leicester City in 2011. There was talk at the time of re-naming the team’s ground the Singha Stadium but those plans feel through. The original 3-year deal has been extended.
“We are proud to be working with such a respected Thai organisation and we look forward to great success together,” City owner Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn said.
Liverpool Football Club
Liverpool’s partnership with Carlsberg is the longest running partnership in the Premier League. The partnership was started in 1992 and the current deal runs through the end of the 2015/16 season.
The partnership has evolved over the years and included a 17 year run when the beer was the jersey sponsor as well as the official beer of the club. A study last year estimated that over 5.7 million pints of Carlsberg had been poured at Anfield during the partnership.
Manchester City Football Club
Manchester City has the 2nd longest running beer partnership in the Premier League. The Citizens have been drinking Heineken for the past 18 years and will continue to pour the suds through the 2017/18 season. They really have more options as Etihad Stadium serves the company’s other top sellers, Foster’s, Strongbow, Bulmers, Amstel and John Smith’s. And the fans have reason to drink as the cost of a pint is one of the lower ones in the league at $5.50 a pint. The partnership makes geographical sense as well with one of Heineken’s largest global breweries located near the club’s former Maine Road stadium.
“Heineken and its stable of brands have been a key part of our fans’ match day experience for more than eighteen years,” Chief Commercial and Operating Officer for Manchester City Football Club, Tom Glick, said on the club website. “We’re extremely proud of this relationship that has spanned nearly two decades and look forward to working together to continually improve the Etihad Stadium’s beverage offering.”
Similar to Arsenal, Manchester City also has a regional partnership with Hansa Pilsener in South Africa.
Manchester United Football Club
More than any other club, Manchester United has extensively developed their list of sponsors and commercial partners. The 29 sponsors include a beer and wine sponsors each paying in the neighborhood of $3.2 million per season.
Singha’s latest deal with United runs through the 2015/16 season.
Casillero del Diablo, the Devil’s Cellar, is the team’s wine sponsor. Appropriate for the Red Devils. Casillero del Diablo wines are served in the VIP suites at Old Trafford.
Newcastle United Football Club
Not to be confused with the league beer, Carlsberg, Newcastle United is sponsored by Carling. The Canada based brewery is part of the Molson Coors Brewing Company conglomerate. It is the UK’s #1 selling lager and has been a sponsor of the Geordies since the 2007/08 season.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club
Queens Park Rangers announced their partnership with Carlsberg in 2010 and the beer is still the sole provider for the team at Loftus Road.
Southampton Football Club
Southampton has Carlsberg as the official beer of the team.
Stoke City Football Club
Stoke City signed a 3-year extension with Carlsberg in the spring of 2014 which will run through 2017.
Sunderland Football Club
Sunderland went Down Under to find their beer sponsor. Foster’s Lager is on tap at the Stadium of Light. Fosters is the 2nd highest selling lager in the UK and part of the SABMiller brewing group.
Swansea City Association Football Club
Swansea has Carlsberg as their Official Beer.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Carlsberg has been the Official Beer of Tottenham since 2004. They signed a new deal in 2012 which will see the sponsorship run through the 2014/15 campaign. The partnership gives the beer exclusive pouring rights at White Hart Lane as well as other branding opportunities during Premier League home and domestic cup matches.
“We’re therefore delighted that Carlsberg UK has signed a new contract to continue as the Club’s Official UK Beer Partner until 2015 and are looking forward to continuing to help develop its UK business over the coming three years,” Tottenham’s head of global partnerships Tracey Keenan said at the announcement.
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom serves Carlsberg as their Official Beer.
West Ham United Football Club
West Ham serves Carlsberg as their Official Beer. They have been the beer sponsor since 2000.
What is your beer of choice for watching the Barclays Premier League?