Castlemaine XXXX, the InBev-owned lager brand, has dropped its three year partnership with the Rugby Football League. The RFL is now seeking a new official beer.
The brand has ended the deal as part of a move away from sponsorship to focus on below-the-line activity.
George Kyle, head of sponsorship, InBev UK, says: “We recognise the impact of building brands at the point of connection, and will therefore be focusing our spend for XXXX in this area.”
Castlemaine and Lion Bar, owned by Nestlé Rowntree, signed up as the first sponsors of the RFL in 2005 in deals understood to be worth several million. It was followed by deals with William Hill and Puma later that year.
The RFL declined to comment on which rival beer brands it is talking to but hopes to announce a replacement for Castlemaine in the next couple of months.