Beer giant Heineken is poised to sign up as an official sponsor of the British Olympic Association (BOA).
In what industry sources are calling an unusual move for a non-domestic beer brand, Heineken UK is expected to join brands such as Adidas, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Rover as a main sponsor for Britain’s Olympic organisation.
A deal with the BOA gives a sponsor the right to use the Olympic rings and to claim to be an Olympic sponsor in its marketing and advertising.
Heineken will not be the first non-UK brand to sponsor the BOA – in addition to those mentioned above, companies such as Samsung, Panasonic and Xerox have signed up. Heineken will, however, be the first beer brand to sponsor the organisation.
Industry sources say the deal is close to being signed, although the negotiations have faced some opposition from Heineken sponsorship chiefs.
One insider says: “The Olympic deal breaches some internal guidelines, but Heineken UK is totally committed to it. It sees it as a done deal, which will help to boost the brand in the UK.”
BOA sponsors are also likely to be among the first approached to become sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic bid, although it is not known whether the BOA deal will involve the 2012 bid team.