Carling has struck what is thought to be the UK's biggest music
It has signed a three-year contract to sponsor Clear Channel-owned music
venues the Hammersmith Apollo and Manchester Apollo. The agreement will
give Carling naming rights to concert tours operated by Clear Channel as
well as pouring rights, making it the exclusive lager supplied at
Carling-branded music events and the Apollo venues.
This is a significant shift from its efforts in the 1990s to link the
brand with sport through its nine-year sponsorship of the FA
Premiership, which ended this year.
Clear Channel owns Clear Channel Entertainment, which promotes tours for
Madonna, U2, Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, Elton John and the
Backstreet Boys. It also owns huge worldwide radio and outdoor
In the UK these include More Group, 31% of Jazz FM and a stake in
Ministry of Sound Radio.
Stuart Cain, head of sponsorship at Bass Brewers refused to divulge any
details before the deal is signed. He said there were "three or four
more partners" involved in the wider sponsorship.
Carling's association with the music entertainment sector has so far
been confined to The Carling Weekend festivals at Reading and Leeds,
which is three years old, and pouring rights at V2001.
Interbrew is taking bids for Carling and other Bass brands, which the
DTI has forced it to sell by February.
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Carling's music link represents a new direction for beer marketing. Now
that traditional tie-ups with sport have become cliched and, arguably,
overpriced, the proliferation of mass-market music events makes music
the logical next route for brands. Carling also stands to benefit from
cross-media opportunities arising from Clear Channel's interests in
outdoor advertising, radio and television. The deal is likely to
heighten Carling's appeal as a target for potential buyers.