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Heineken® has agreed a new long-term sponsorship with Ulster Rugby, which will also see them continue as the Official Pourage Partner at Kingspan Stadium.
The news comes as the public bars at Kingspan Stadium are set to re-open for Friday’s United Rugby Championship opener against Glasgow Warriors, and Ulster players Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale and Stuart McCloskey were on hand to welcome the delivery of Heineken® products.
The new deal sees the continuation of a decade-long partnership between Ulster Rugby and Heineken®, which has always had unforgettable fan experiences at its heart. Among the plans in place for the coming season are exclusive behind-the-scenes tours on Heineken® Champions Cup match-days including a commemorative coin-toss with both captains, plus top-class live entertainment at the Heineken® Quarter bar at Kingspan Stadium.
Heineken® will also continue as the title partner of the annual End of Season Awards, and sponsor of the showpiece award – the Heineken® Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year – with previous recipients including Ruan Pienaar, Rory Best and most recently, club captain and Lions tourist, Iain Henderson.
The Heineken® brand is synonymous with rugby on a global scale thanks to its title partnership of European club rugby’s premier competition – the Heineken® Champions Cup – which Ulster famously won in 1999, and the current squad are looking forward to taking on ASM Clermont Auvergne and Northampton Saints in this season’s pool stages in the coming months.
Jonny Petrie, Ulster Rugby CEO, welcomed the announcement:
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Heineken® – one of our longest standing and most established partners. It’s also fitting that we can announce this good news on the eve of the public bars opening at Kingspan Stadium for the first time in more than 19 months. I know Ulster supporters are looking forward to being able to enjoy Heineken’s premium products on match-nights once again.
“Both Heineken® and Ulster Rugby have a proud heritage and a bold ambition to be the market leader in our respective industries, with a commitment to sustainability and building a lasting legacy. Having the support of partners like Heineken® is critical to Ulster Rugby realising these ambitions over the coming years.
“We look forward to continuing to build on Heineken’s commitment to rugby, growing the game at all levels and delivering the best possible fan experiences along the way.”
Martin McAuley, Managing Director of United Wine Merchants (a subsidiary of Heineken® and who manage the Heineken® brand in Northern Ireland), said:
“All of us at United Wine Merchants are delighted to continue our partnership with the team at Ulster Rugby. Our partnership with Ulster Rugby is something we truly value, and it has made a significant contribution to the ongoing stellar performance of the Heineken® brand in Northern Ireland.
“Having come through some incredibly challenging times, we are delighted to be associated with a club that means so much, and one that brings such happiness, to so many people right across Ulster. United Wines is very excited for what the future holds, and we very much look forward to our relationship with Ulster Rugby going from strength to strength in the coming seasons.”
Wojciech Bogusz, Marketing Director at HEINEKEN IRELAND, added:
“Heineken® has a long and proud tradition in rugby in Ireland, and an integral part of this is our long-standing partnership with our friends at Ulster Rugby. The last 18 months or so have been incredibly difficult for both our businesses, however, it is testament to the strength of the relationship between Heineken and Ulster Rugby that we have emerged together, stronger than ever, and looking towards brighter times over the coming seasons.
“We are truly excited by the plans we have for the partnership. We very much look forward to continuing our support of Ulster Rugby in their efforts to grow the game of rugby for all. Here’s to their wonderful and passionate fans being able to enjoy a Heineken® or Heineken® 0.0% with friends on big match-day occasions once again, in the unique setting of Kingspan Stadium.”