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April 27, 2021

Asahi Group to sponsor 2023 Rugby World Cup as Heineken steps aside

Asahi Group has replaced Heineken as the beer sponsor of the Rugby World Cup after signing an agreement for the 2023 tournament in France.

By Giacomo Lee

Asahi Group has replaced Heineken as the beer sponsor of the Rugby World Cup after signing an agreement for the 2023 tournament in France.

The Japanese company said today core lager Asahi Super Dry will be the new ‘official beer partner’ of the competition, which is held every four years. Heineken has been an official partner of every Rugby World Cup since 1995.

Super Dry will be served across all Rugby World Cup 2023 stadiums and tournament venues across France, and Asahi has promised tournament activations that “connect supporters with their sporting heroes”. However, Asahi is set to face strict rules on supporting the brand at the tournament because of French regulations on alcohol marketing in sports. The so-called ‘Loi Evin’ rule means alcohol branding is not allowed inside sports stadiums.

Asahi UK’s chief marketing director, Grant McKenzie, said the partnership will promote Super Dry to rugby fans in more than 200 countries. “We look forward to sharing the unique taste of modern Japan with rugby fans around the world,” McKenzie added.

The deal is Asahi’s second major sports sponsorship of the year. In February, it secured a Formula One deal for Peroni Libera 0.0%.

Heineken throws Q1 surprise but stage set for LatAm battle – Click here for a just-drinks analysis

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