Heineken Regain Naming Rights To European Cup

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4 June 2018

Just when we’ve trained ourselves – after four seasons - not to refer to the European Rugby Champions Cup as the “Heineken Cup”, it’s the Heineken Cup again!

Heineken is to return as the title partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup from next season with a four-year deal that will see the tournament renamed as the Heineken Champions Cup.

After the management of Europe’s top club competition was wrestled from the hands of the Celtic unions at the end of 2013, the new, Swiss-based EPCR Ltd opted for a model that would see a roster of sponsors (like UEFA’s Champions League) rather than the reliance on one main name. Heineken loyally gave up their seat at the head of the table at a lesser fee value, prepared to share the limelight.

Reports at the time suggested that the brand’s investment shrunk from £8-£10m per year as main sponsor to less than £5m annually. EPCR forecast that they could double sponsorship income taking on five such partners, more than double the revenue of the previous model.

Despite signing a three-year deal with Turkish Airlines in 2015, those ambitious plans were never fulfilled in a market climate that has seen many of rugby union’s precious properties struggle to grow their value. The Six Nations and the Premiership have had to readjust bold expectations in recent seasons.

The Champions Cup new format has intensified competition with the reduction from 24 to 20 clubs. It attracted an aggregate

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