Heineken has announced that it will be the official beer of 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC) in a new two-year deal. The leading beer brand joins existing sponsors Emirates Airline and Mastercard as a Worldwide Partner of rugby’s premier tournament to be held in New Zealand.
As a Worldwide Partner for RWC 2011, Heineken has access to a package of worldwide rights, including use of the RWC 2011 event marks and designations in promotional tie-ins.
The 2011 Rugby World Cup will be the fourth in which Heineken has been a major sponsor having first been involved in the 1995 tournament held in South Africa.
"We are delighted to be welcoming Heineken, a long-standing supporter of Rugby World Cup and rugby around the globe, as a Worldwide Partner for the 2011 Tournament," said Bernard Lapasset, Rugby World Cup Limited chairman. "The strength of the commercial programme is integral to the success of Rugby World Cup and the development of the Game worldwide and this ongoing relationship with the world's leading international premium beer brand is a massive boost for the Tournament.
"We look forward to working with Heineken to further the promotion of the Game as the global rugby community looks ahead to Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand."
Heineken will activate a number of initiatives starting in early 2010 to support the partnership, building up to the opening match of the tournament when New Zealand takes on Tonga on September 9.
Stefan Orlowski, Heineken’s Group commerce director said: "We are very excited to again be an integral part of the world’s premier rugby tournament, and one of the world’s largest sporting events.
"As the world’s most valuable, international premium beer brand, Heineken has been associated with many high profile global sporting tournaments and we will bring a wealth of experience to help ensure that Rugby World Cup 2011 is the best and the most enjoyable Rugby World Cup ever. We can’t wait to get started!"
It is estimated that a cumulative audience of 4.2 billion people watched the Rugby World Cup 2007 and that this will increase for the 2011 tournament.