Granada signs with Coke in pounds 40m deal to back TV football

Granada Enterprises has struck a pounds 40 million sponsorship deal

with Coca-Cola for its TV Premier League football coverage, which is

being touted as the biggest sports broadcast sponsorship in the UK.



The deal will encompass the highlights programme on Saturdays and

Sundays, online and offline coverage of the Premiership highlights and

additional highlights programmes during the week.



There will also be a heavyweight off-screen marketing campaign with

on-pack promotions and point of sale.



The TV sponsorship was clinched by Coca-Cola following a round of sealed

bids, which closed on Monday. Three companies were involved in the

bidding process.



ITV had originally been in talks with Barclaycard, which recently agreed

a pounds 48 million three-year global title sponsorship deal of the FA

Premier League and had first rights of refusal over the TV package. The

bank card, however, is believed to have turned down the TV sponsorship

package because it felt that it was too expensive.



Mick Desmond, the chief executive of Granada Enterprises, said: "This is

an historic broadcast sponsorship deal. The relationship between ITV and

Coke is a clear example of a platinum partnership between two major

players, coming together to achieve a major marketing impact. Coke won

the day on the strength of its through-the-line exploitation of

ideas."



The deal was negotiated directly by Granada with Coke. Tom Long, the

Coca-Cola president for Great Britain and Ireland, added: "This further

extends our many interests, excitement and passion for football."