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Lion locks in XXXX deal with Cricket Australia after VB exit

Just two days after confirming its 20 year partnership with CUB’s VB had come to an end, Cricket Australia has announced Lion’s mid-strength XXXX brand has signed a four year sponsorship of the sport.

Lion has taken over as beer sponsor for Cricket Australia, but its logos won’t be on uniforms – yet.

Lion has taken up a “gold” sponsorship which will give Lion pourage and signage rights at cricket fixtures.

But the deal does not extend as far as logos on players, which for the first time CA is negotiating separately.

“Lion replaces Carlton & United Breweries as Cricket Australia’s official beer and cider partner for international cricket,” CA said in a statement.

“Lion’s Gold sponsorship will see its beers stocked at all CA official functions, along with designated signage at stadiums. The partnership does not include any branding of player clothing.”

XXXX Gold to be beer choice at CA events.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said that the sponsorship was tailored to capitalise in the rise in popularity of mid strength beer. “XXXX Gold is the number one mid-strength beer in the country and will be a great moderation choice for fans attending our games. Lion and Cricket Australia both have a relationship with DrinkWise Australia and we look forward to working collaboratively to promote a positive drinking culture at games, where fans never miss a moment of the action.”

XXXX Gold has enjoyed an unofficial link to cricket in the past when the brand created a summer beach cricket series starring former greats of the game.

Lion marketing director, Ben Slocombe,  said: “We are looking forward to working with Cricket Australia to further engage our shared audience of adult beer drinkers and cricket fans behind this great mid-strength beer.”

On news of the announcement that VB had ended its sponsorship with Cricket Australia over the weekend was greeted by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians with a call for Cricket Australia to use it as an opportunity to break its ties with alcohol sponsorship.

Alcohol sponsorship of sports is set to be tackled at Mumbrella’s Sports Marketing Summit being held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on June 21.  The session will look at both sides of the argument and ask should there be more moderation on alcohol sponsorships? To buy tickets and look at the Sports Marketing Summit program, visit the website here.

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