Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heineken will be the official beer of the 2012 London Olympics.

Heineken will be the official beer of the 2012 London Olympics.

The Dutch brewer was unveiled Thursday as the "official lager supplier" of the games in a third-tier sponsorship deal.

Heineken will have exclusive rights to sell its beer and cider brands at all Olympic venues where alcohol is served. It will also have hospitality and marketing rights.

Heineken also sponsors Champions League football, the Rugby World Cup and rugby's European Cup.

London 2012 organizers reportedly held talks with British brewers Young's and Fuller's before reaching an agreement with the U.K. operating company of Heineken, whose headquarters are in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Organizers rejected criticism that they spurned an opportunity to use a British brewery in favor of making more money from a Europe-wide company.

"The evidence does not support this," said Paul Deighton, chief executive of the organizing committee. "I can't think of a better match, actually. We have here a British heritage with an international reach. That's the Olympic Games."

Heineken becomes London's 21st tier-three domestic sponsor. The organizing committee also has seven partners in each of the more lucrative tier-one and tier-two categories.

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