The EPCR have announced Dutch beer company Heineken as title partner of the Champions Cup from next season and will be knows as the Heineken Champions Cup.
The premier rugby tournament in Europe was known as the Heineken Cup from 1995 until 2014, when the ERC was replaced by the EPCR as French and English clubs flexed their muscles and sought the restructuring of a tournament won by Irish provinces five times in seven seasons, between 2005 and 2012.
EPCR Chief Executive, Vincent Gaillard, said:
“We have substantially developed the Champions Cup over the past four seasons and it is fitting that at such an exciting time for the tournament, we welcome back a world-leading brand in Heineken.
“They are steeped in rugby history and inextricably linked with the heritage of European club rugby and we are delighted to be embarking on this journey with their full support.”
Hans-Erik Tuijt, Global Sponsorship Director, Heineken, said:
“It is an exciting time for Heineken to return as the main partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup. The expansion of the tournament to emerging rugby territories (Bilbao 2018) and new cities in traditional strongholds of European rugby (Lyon 2016, Newcastle 2019) provides Heineken with the opportunity to create engaging fan experiences and brings our association with rugby to new audiences throughout Europe.”
Ulster were Ireland’s first winners, in 1999, before Munster won it in 2006 and 2008. Since then Leinster have won it four times, in 2009, ’11, ’12 and this season.
Next season’s Heineken Champions Cup final will be held at St James’ Park, Newcastle, with the pool stage draw taking place in Switzerland on June 20th.