Amsterdam, 4th June 2018: - Heineken® has announced it will return to the pinnacle of European Club Rugby with the headline sponsorship of the prestigious European Champions Cup. The new agreement with the tournament's organisers, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), will see Heineken®, the world's leading international premium beer brand, once again become the main partner of rugby's leading European club tournament.
As part of the new four year deal starting from the 2018/19 season, the tournament will be re-named the 'Heineken® Champions Cup'. It will add to Heineken®'s wider rugby portfolio, which also includes the Rugby World Cup 2019 sponsorship. Heineken®'s relationship with EPCR, dates back to 1995 when the two joined forces to launch this well renowned club competition.
Hans Erik Tuijt, Global Sponsorship Director, HEINEKEN, said: "It is an exciting time for Heineken® to return as the main partner to the European Rugby Champions Cup. The expansion of the tournament to emerging rugby territories (Bilbao 2018) and new cities in traditional strongholds of European rugby (Newcastle 2019) provides Heineken® with the opportunity to create engaging fan experiences, and brings our association with rugby to new audiences throughout Europe. Heineken® is proud to have had a close association with rugby for over 20 years and we look forward to working alongside EPCR to provide a platform to continue to develop the competition across Europe and beyond."
In line with the brand's portfolio of global sponsorships, such as Rugby World Cup, UEFA Champions League and Formula 1, Heineken® will use the partnership as a powerful platform to communicate the Enjoy Heineken® Responsibly program.
Vincent Gaillard, EPCR CEO, said: "We have substantially developed the Champions Cup over the past four seasons and it is fitting that at such an exciting time for the tournament, we welcome back a world-leading brand in Heineken®. They are steeped in rugby history and inextricably linked with the heritage of European club rugby and we are delighted to be embarking on this journey with their full support."
The Heineken® Champions Cup in 2018/19 will be broadcast free to air in the UK, Ireland and France, alongside a host of official international broadcasters, producing the biggest TV audience in the history of the European Club Rugby competition.
Notes to Editors:
Press enquiries: David Pugh: David.Pugh@heineken.com / +31 (0) 610 042 862
HEINEKEN is the world's most international brewer. It is the leading developer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands. Led by the Heineken® brand, the Group has a portfolio of more than 300 international, regional, local and speciality beers and ciders. We are committed to innovation, long-term brand investment, disciplined sales execution and focused cost management. Through "Brewing a Better World", sustainability is embedded in the business and delivers value for all stakeholders. HEINEKEN has a well-balanced geographic footprint with leadership positions in both developed and developing markets. We employ over 80,000 employees and operate breweries, malteries, cider plants and other production facilities in more than 70 countries. Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares trade on the Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on Reuters under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. HEINEKEN has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY). Most recent information is available on HEINEKEN's website: www.theHEINEKENcompany.com and follow us on Twitter via @HEINEKENCorp.
About European Rugby Champions Cup
The European Rugby Champions Cup is an annual rugby union tournament organised by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). It is the top tier competition for clubs whose countries' national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship. Clubs qualify for the Champions Cup via their final positions in their respective domestic leagues (English Premiership, Top 14, and Pro14) or via winning the second-tier Challenge Cup; those who do not qualify are instead eligible to compete in the second-tier Challenge Cup.
All the latest news can be found at www.epcrugby.com and via @ChampionsCup across Twitter and YouTube.