Three global brands are to enter the fight for a lucrative sponsorship deal with England’s elite soccer Premier League.

Budweiser, Pepsi and Coca-Cola all hope to oust Bass-owned brand Carling when its current three-year deal with the league expires this summer. Up for auction is a deal worth £60 million ($90m) over three years, twice the sum paid by Carling.

The hike in the price of soccer sponsorship reflects the growing appeal of the Premier League both nationally and internationally. The league is also in the final stages of negotiations to sell overseas TV rights to a consortium of TW1, Fox and Canal Plus in a deal believed to be worth considerably more than the £100m paid by TW1 and Canal Plus three years ago.

The new sponsor will also enjoy greater exposure over the next three years than Carling has received. More games will be televised, with matches also appearing on pay-per-view stations and on club-owned channels and websites. The move of the league’s highlights programme from the ad-free BBC to the commercial ITV network will also provide greater scope for cross-promotions.

News source: Financial Times