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Carlsberg has extended its long-running sponsorship agreement for UEFA’s national team competitions in a deal that will allow it to become the first partner to endorse the new centralised marketing programme of European football’s governing body.

The Danish beer brand has served as an official sponsor of the European Championship since its 1988 edition in the former West Germany. With the renewal of the partnership, Carlsberg remains an official sponsor of the European Championship and acquires rights in connection with the European Qualifiers from 2014 to 2017. Carlsberg becomes the sixth global partner of the European Championship, following on from the previous announcement of the Coca-Cola, Adidas, McDonald’s, Hyundai/Kia and Continental agreements. Tom Moradpour, vice-president of the Carlsberg Brand, said: “The sponsorship of UEFA’s national team competitions provides us with a fantastic platform to raise further the international profile of the Carlsberg brand and its values, while giving us another opportunity to create unique experiences for fans of both football and Carlsberg.”

Qualification games for Euro 2016 are set to be the first featured under UEFA’s ‘Week of Football’ initiative, which would see international matches played on six consecutive days. UEFA in October formalised a tie-up with CAA Eleven, which secured a deal to distribute a new centralised package of European national team rights, in the belief that the new model would help football’s European governing body to replicate the success of the continent’s top leagues. CAA’s deal runs from 2014-18 and covers the qualification process for Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. CAA is managing the broadcasting, sponsorship and licensing rights for all of the games in the package on behalf of UEFA. Speaking at the Soccerex European Forum last month, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino described centralisation as the “most important evolution” in European football since the inception of the Champions League in 1992.

Commenting on Thursday’s new partnership agreement, Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA, said: “Carlsberg have been a loyal and committed partner throughout this period, and it is fantastic that our partnership continues. Carlsberg is one of the leading brands in football, and the first partner to endorse UEFA’s new marketing platform, which includes the UEFA European Football Championship and the European Qualifiers.”

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