Heineken has extended its sponsorship deal of the Rugby World Cup to cover the next tournament in 2011.

The brewer confirmed today (17 March) that it will be the worldwide partner and official beer of Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand, making it the fourth time that Heineken has been a sponsor and worldwide partner of the Rugby World Cup. The company was involved in South Africa in 1995, Australia in 2003 and France in 2007.

Financial details behind the sponsorship were not disclosed.

"We are very excited to again be an integral part of the world's premier rugby tournament, and one of the world's leading sporting events," said Stefan Orlowski, Heineken's group commerce director. "We have been associated with many high profile global sporting tournaments. We will bring this wealth of experience to the Rugby World Cup 2011 to help make this the best and most enjoyable Rugby World Cup ever."

Heineken said it will implement a series of activities starting early next year to support the partnership, building up to the first game of the tournament on 9 September with the final being played on 23 October in Auckland.

The company had a tough time in 2007, when its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup in France resulted in legal action and fines.