Will Diageos Guinness be the next sponsor of the English Premier League?

Will Diageo's Guinness be the next sponsor of the English Premier League?

Diageo has branded as “speculation” reports that it is vying to make Guinness the next headline brand sponsor of football's English Premier League.

Sky News reported late yesterday that the UK-based drinks firm is among a number of companies working on a bid for the rights, with the deal expected to be worth around GBP150m (US$225m). Current sponsor Barclays will see its three-year deal expire at the end of next season, but could reportedly be looking to renew the deal. 

In a statement to just-drinks today, Diageo said: “With global brands such as Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker, sponsorship plays an important role in our marketing activities. We look at opportunities all the time so as a rule we do not comment on speculation.” 

Guinness is already the official beer of rugby's Aviva Premiership, after Diageo renewed a deal last year. However, the brand has no high profile links to football in the UK. 

Last year, Diageo invested heavily in the stout brand in the UK in attempts to revive sales, including launching variants such as 'Dublin Porter' and 'West Indies Porter'

In half-year results released yesterday, the company reported that Guinness was "impacted" in the UK on-trade, but "maintained share". Total beer sales in the six months fell 2%, Diageo said.