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Reports claim Guinness and Heineken fighting for Premier League rights

Diageo’s flagship beer brand Guinness and Heineken are fighting for the rights to be the Premier League’s official beer partner, according to reports.

The claims from Sky New‘s Mark Kleinman are that the two drinks giants are seeking to replace AB InBev’s Budweiser lager brand.

Bud has been a partner with the Premier League, England’s top division football tournament, since 2019, when it also inked a deal with the Spanish equivalent, LaLiga.

In 2023, it announced that it wouldn’t be renewing its five-year deal, which followed its decision to also downgrade its contract with the English Football Association (FA), while retaining England football team deals and Wembley for its Bud Light brand.

The news meant other beer brands were able to move into the space.

Guinness and Heineken currently has a large footprint in rugby union, including the former having a reported £15m deal for the Six Nations, and Heineken formerly having naming rights to the Champions Cup and being closely involved with various clubs in the top tier of European rugby.

Heineken currently has a close relationship with a number of top tier football clubs too, including Tottenham Hotspur, and also has a deal with the UEFA Champions League

It’s not the first time that Guinness have tried to land a deal for football, with reports back in 2015 that the Diageo brand wanted to take naming rights from Barclay’s for the Premier League, in a punchy £100m+ deal. It was reportedly turned down due to clubs having other separate deals with beer brands.

According to Kleinman, Guinness proposed a deal with Heineken then also putting forward an offer, and the clubs are aware of the offers.

Sky News claimed the Guinness deal could be worth “tens of millions of pounds” over three years, and was “significantly higher” than Heineken’s initial bid – but the Dutch brewer has been invited to put forward a revised offer, it said.

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