LONDON May 27 Europe's biggest brewer Heineken
(HEIN.AS) is extending its sponsorship of UEFA Champions League
soccer for a further three years, which analysts estimate is
worth around 20 million euros ($28 million), on the eve of this
season's final between Barcelona and Manchester United.
The new deal announced on Friday takes the Amsterdam-based
brewer's contract up to the end of the 2014/2015 football
season, extending its link to the tournament to over 20 years,
as around 145 million television viewers prepare to watch
Saturday's final at London's Wembley stadium.
Heineken's Chief Commercial Officer Alexis Nasard told
Reuters the new deal gives the brewer wider digital rights and
broadens its broadcast rights to cover Germany, but he declined
to give any financial details regarding the sponsorship.
He said the group's eponymous beer was available in 174 of
the 220 countries that watch the competition on television. One
of the most recent additions to that total is Mexico, where the
world's third-largest brewer launched the Heineken beer brand in
January following last year's takeover of Mexico's FEMSA
David Taylor of Swiss-based UEFA said his association did
not have a big marketing budget, and revenue from the
sponsorship would be fed back into the development of
This is the sixth season the Heineken brand has sponsored
the competition, which is watched by over 4 billion TV viewers
over a season, but the group's tournament links go back to 1994.
(Reporting by David Jones; Editing by Will Waterman)