Pilsner Urquell becomes Official Beer of The Open Championship
13 January 2009
The R&A and SABMiller plc today announced that they have entered into a long term agreement under which Pilsner Urquell, the iconic beer brand from SABMiller, will become the Official Beer of The Open Championship.
The arrangement is effective from the upcoming 2009 Championship at Turnberry and will last for five years, taking in confirmed future Championships at St Andrews, Royal St George's and Royal Lytham and St Annes.
Vinod Giri, International Brand Director of SABMiller plc said, "The heritage, authenticity and premium nature of The Open Championship offer fantastic synergies for Pilsner Urquell. Both brands are the original, uncompromised leaders in their fields and set the gold standard. We are excited by this partnership, and look forward to building a long and successful association with The R&A."
David Hill, R&A Director of Championships, said, "The R&A is delighted to welcome Pilsner Urquell as the Official Beer of The Open Championship. I'm sure spectators at this year's Open at Turnberry will be delighted that such an iconic beer is available throughout the Open Championship site."
The agreement will see Pilsner Urquell served within all public and VIP hospitality facilities. In addition, SABMiller group companies around the world will be able to utilise the association with The Open Championship through advertising, promotions, ticketing and hospitality.
Pilsner Urquell is marketed and distributed in the UK through Miller Brands UK - a subsidiary of SABMiller. The beer has seen impressive growth in the last 6 months with sales growing in excess of 50% - this is in contrast with the overall UK beer market, which declined by 5% in 2008. Meanwhile, the number of pubs and bars stocking Pilsner Urquell on draught has doubled in the past year.
Notes to editors
Pilsner Urquell is the Original Pilsner from Pilsen. Created in 1842, it gave birth to the pilsner style beers. Still brewed to the same exacting standards, this beer offers the uniquely distinctive full bodied flavour of true pilsner. It is a widely view that once you have discovered and grown to appreciate its taste, it may change your perspective on other beers.
Pilsner Urquell is the flagship brand of SABMiller's international premium brand portfolio and is distributed in over 40 countries worldwide.
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents. The group's wide portfolio of brands includes premium international beers such as Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as market-leading local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie. SABMiller is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
In the year ended 31 March 2008, the group reported US$3,639 million in adjusted pre-tax profit and revenue of US$21,410 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
This announcement is available on the company website: www.sabmiller.com
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Miller Brands UK
Miller Brands was launched in 2005 and is a subsidiary of SABMiller, one of the world's largest brewers. Miller Brands have assumed responsibility for the development of all SABMiller's international premium brands across the UK; these include Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Genuine Draft. Through its consistent pricing and distribution discipline, supplemented by engaging marketing activities, Miller Brands is bringing value back into the beer category.
Based in St Andrews, The R&A is golf's governing body and organizer of The Open Championship. The R&A is committed to working for golf and operates with the consent of 136 organisations, from the amateur and professional game, and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 121 countries.