February 3 - Dutch brewer Heineken have seen off London's only remaining traditional family brewer Fuller's Brewery to become the Official Lager Supplier of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in a tier three sponsorship deal announced today.
As revealed on insidethegames earlier this week, part of the deal will see the company's flagship premium beer Heineken being the branded lager served at the London 2012 Games while Heineken will have exclusive pouring rights for its portfolio of beer and cider brands at all London 2012 venues where alcohol is served.
Fuller's, the west London-based brewery best known as the makers of the iconic beer London Pride, are said to be "disappointed" that 2012 organisers have opted not to use a traditional British brewery as an official sponsor and instead go for a bigger international company.
Fuller's Brewery was founded in 1845 at the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick and would likely have given the Games a distinctly British feel but London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton has defended the decision to go with Heineken who are already a major backer of sports with their sponsorship deals currently including the UEFA Champions League and rugby union's Heineken Cup.
"Heineken UK employ over 2,000 people across Britain," Deighton said.
"They are based out of Edinburgh and Newcastle and supply to pubs across the country.
"London 2012 is also a global event and it is important to have global brands involved.
"Their brand will be vital in the success of the event and it must be understood that without brands such as Heineken sponsoring the event, we simply couldn't host the event because of the huge financial sums involved.
"We are pleased to be working with Heineken as we have a shared goal of encouraging adult visitors to our venues where alcohol is served to celebrate responsibly.
"We welcome Heineken to the London 2012 family and look forward to working with them."
As an Official Supplier of the London 2012 Games, Heineken will be able to utilise exclusive hospitality and marketing opportunities associated with the event.
They will also enjoy sponsorship and venue supply rights associated with the British Olympic Association (BOA), Team GB, the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and the Paralympics GB team.
Alexis Nasard, the chief commercial officer of Heineken said: "There are no bigger, global or more spectacular events than the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
"We selected this opportunity as it fully reflects Heineken's global brand position.
"It also provides a wonderful platform for the promotion of responsible drinking.
"Based on the experiences gained from being a long-term sponsor of premier sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League and the Rugby World Cup, we will utilise London 2012 to celebrate with the world in a way that only Heineken can do."
The deal continues Heineken's substantial involvement in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Dutch brewer spent £34 million ($54 million) on sponsoring the Athens Olympics in 2004 and is a long-time backer of famous "Holland Heineken House."
It was announced at the end of last year that the famous Alexandra Palace had been chosen by the Dutch Olympic Committee to be the location for "Heineken House" during London 2012.
The landmark building, located in North London will be turned into a giant beer hall open to the public and will act as a hospitality centre for athletes, officials and VIP officials.
Stefan Orlowski, the managing director of Heineken UK, added: "We are delighted to secure this sponsorship and supply agreement with the London 2012 Games.
"We look forward to working with LOCOG to capitalise on the exciting opportunities it offers for the Heineken brand and Heineken UK.
"It is a significant investment and undertaking for the company and one that can help build pride amongst all our colleagues, business partners and consumers across the UK."
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