An official from Dutch brewing company Heineken, which has links to a number of stadiums and venues around the world, said that they believe that the football sponsorship market has become too overcrowded.
In an interview with the Marketing Week website, Heineken’s global sponsorship director, Hans Erik Tuijt, said it was difficult for brands to stand out in the cluttered world that is football sponsorship.
Heineken holds partnerships with English Premier League clubs Manchester City and West Ham United, with its products being sold at the two clubs’ respective grounds.
Heineken-owned John Smith’s also title sponsors the stadium co-owned by second-tier Championship club Huddersfield Town and rugby league team the Huddersfield Giants.
Heineken holds further partnerships with a number of Major League Soccer franchises, and sponsors the Uefa Champions League and Europa League competitions.
The brewery has established itself as a major player in football, with its branding visible in stadia across Europe and around the world. But Tuijt feels rugby is a more viable avenue for brands to explore when it comes to engaging with the consumer.
“Football is totally overcrowded,” Tuijt told Marketing Week. “If you take Fifa World Cup, for example, there’s far too many brands associating themselves directly. It is difficult to cut through, whereas you don’t have that as much with rugby.
“Yes, some of our rivals sponsor rugby teams but it’s not as widespread as football and is less cluttered. As a result, there’s more of a unique chance to make the most out of on and off promotions to sell beer to consumers.”