Asahi Beverages signs new AFL deal

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Australia’s leading drinks company, Asahi Beverages, has entered a landmark new partnership with the Australian Football League.

As part of a four-year deal, a range of beverages including Gatorade and Cool Ridge water will become the new official drinks of the AFL. And – in a separate but related deal – Carlton Draught will continue as the long-standing official footy beer.

The announcement marks the first time a beverages company has been the AFL’s official partner across multiple non-alcohol and alcohol categories and underlines the breadth of Asahi Beverages’ leading multi-beverages portfolio.

Pepsi Max and Solo will become the AFL’s official soft drinks while Cool Ridge becomes the official water and Gatorade the official sports drink. Gatorade hydration stations will return to clubrooms and Carlton Zero becomes the AFL’s firstever official non-alcohol beer in a sign of footy fans’ evolving tastes.

Asahi Beverages Group CEO Robert Iervasi said:

“This is a landmark partnership that better connects our iconic and much-loved brands with footy fans watching the game in stadiums, pubs or at home. We’re immensely proud that our multi-beverage portfolio of iconic brands has helped us become the first-ever company to officially partner with the AFL across multiple nonalcohol and alcohol categories.

“Today’s announcement marks an exciting new chapter for our non-alcohol beverages and builds on one of sports’ oldest partnerships between the AFL/VFL and Carlton & United Breweries, which is a proud part of Asahi Beverages.

“We can’t wait to use our iconic brands to help bring the partnership to life for fans with on-ground activations, competitions and much more. We will also continue to find innovative ways to support the game and its amazing players, both male and female.”

In Australia, PepsiCo’s range of drinks are manufactured and distributed by Asahi Beverages. PepsiCo ANZ CEO Kyle Faulconer said:

“We’re excited this new partnership will help us better connect our brands with footy fans. Pepsi Max is one of the biggest brands in the cola category, while Gatorade is trusted by some of the world’s best athletes and has a long history in Australian sport. It’s the most scientifically researched and game-tested way to keep you hydrated and has been fuelling elite athletes across a broad range of sports for decades as well as inspiring everyday Aussies to perform at their best.”

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said:

“The AFL is proud to partner with Asahi Beverages and their broad portfolio of iconic brands.

“Partnering with both the AFL and AFLW competitions and delivering category leading products to our clubs and players, we look forward to working with all the brands across the non-alcohol and alcohol categories to connect them with footy fans.

“Carlton Draught is engrained in footy, and to be able to expand one of the longest partnerships in our game’s history is momentous for the league and footy fans alike.”

AFL Executive General Manager, Customer and Commercial Kylie Rogers said:

“The partnership with Asahi Beverages is something all football fans can ‘cheers’ to.

“For a long time we’ve had the best beer partner in the world in Carlton Draught and now we’re excited to welcome back Gatorade – the best sports performance drink available, so that our players have the best options on field.”

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