Carling replaces Worthington in £11m, three-year sponsorship of League Cup

The Football League has signed Coors Brewers lager brand Carling to sponsor its flagship League Cup in a three-year deal worth about &£11m.

A Football League spokesman says that the deal is worth more than the previous four-year sponsorship with Coors’ stablemate beer brand, Worthington. Although the previous deal was said to be worth &£4m a year, the spokesman says that this was an inflated figure that has been topped by the new partnership.

He says: “The deal is an achievement for the Football League at a depressed time in the sponsorship market, and with a well-disposed company. There are a lot of happy faces today.”

The decision to renew its main football sponsorship marks a reversal of strategy for Coors, which decided to terminate the Worthington deal after it took control of the company in 2002.

The deal will see a return to top-flight football sponsorship for Carling, which sponsored the Premiership for eight years until 2001. Carling quit football to sponsor music events when the Premier League trebled the cost of the sponsoring the league to &£9m.

Coors has kept an association with football and promises to spend more than &£30m on sponsorship within the sport during the next three years. Carling sponsors Celtic and Rangers, as well as a number of Premiership football clubs.

Smirnoff was reported to be close to sponsoring the League Cup, but talks collapsed earlier this month (MW June 5). The cup has previously been sponsored by Littlewoods, Coca-Cola and the Milk Marketing Board.

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