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Heineken to replace Budweiser as Major League Soccer official beer

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Heineken has secured a “long-term” deal to make its namesake lager the official beer of the US's Major League Soccer.

Heineken will step up to be an MLS sponsor from January

Heineken will step up to be an MLS sponsor from January

The Dutch brewer's namesake brand will replace its rival, Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned Budweiser, from January, it said today. The length, and financial terms, of the deal were not disclosed.

The Wall Street Journal reported, however, that the deal constitutes a four-year tie-up worth “more than US$40m”.

As part of the deal, Heineken said it will feature strongly during nationally-broadcast matches through on-site and digital activations, and on point-of-sale materials.

The brewer said it has also agreed sponsorship deals with an unspecified number of MLS clubs that will be announced “in the coming weeks”.

“With the third highest average attendance of any US sports league, the highest percentage of Hispanic and Millenial audience of any major US sport and more than 22m Americans actively playing soccer in the US, MLS has proven to attract a diverse and cosmopolitan audience that reflects Heineken's adult consumer,” said Heineken.

The brewer also sponsors Europe's UEFA Champions League tournament.

Earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch InBev confirmed to just-drinks it would not be renewing its sponsorship of English football's FA Cup tournament through its Budweiser brand. The brewer has also previously been the official beer of the English Premier League, but that deal ended in 2010. 

Carlsberg is the current beer sponsor of the Premier League, after securing a three-year deal last year.


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