Heineken has joined the growing list of sponsors who have signed up to support the Irish Open. The brand, which already has a strong association with sport through the Heineken Cup and the Champions’ League, will be an official sponsor of the tournament for a period of three years.
This renews a relationship which first began two years ago when the tournament was played at Killarney.
“We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to present Heineken at this prestigious sporting event,” said Pat Maher, national sponsorship and events manger for Heineken Ireland. “The Irish Open is respected throughout Europe by the professional golfers and spectators alike.”
“The European Tour is pleased to secure Heineken’s multi-year commitment as an official sponsor of the Irish Open,” said James Finnigan commercial director of the European Tour. “Given their support of the Heineken Cup and the UEFA Champions League, we are delighted that a leading global brand such as Heineken has added the Irish Open to their sponsorship portfolio.”
The deal is the first major extension of an alcohol brand in sport since the recent renewed tension in government over proposals to phase out alcohol sponsorship of sport.
Health Minister Roisín Shortall said in a Dáil debate only two weeks ago that the target was still feasible though Sports Minister Leo Varadkar suggested afterwards that that was not the case in the current economic climate.
Ironically the move would have no impact on this year’s Irish Open which is being held in Royal Portrush or on the existing relationship between Heineken and Ulster Rugby as neither the British government nor the Stormont Executive has plans to introduce a similar restriction.