Coke Eyes TV Link to Premier League

Article excerpt

Coca-Cola is poised to take up the sponsorship of ITV's Premier League coverage should Barclaycard decide to decline its option on the [pound]18m deal.

Barclaycard emerged as the surprise global title sponsor of the FA Premier League last week when it signed a three-year deal with the Premier League worth [pound]48m. Under an agreement between the Premier League and ITV, Barclaycard was given ten days to decide whether it wants to take up the TV sponsorship. No decision had been made as Marketing went to press.

Granada Enterprises has held a sealed bidding process for the rights should Barclaycard decide not to sign up.

Three brands are believed to have put in a bid and Coca-Cola's is understood to have come closest to the [pound]18m asking price. Both Coke and Pepsi were reported to have been interested in the main title sponsorship, but did not make a formal bid.

Separately, the Premier League is understood to have retained npower, BSkyB and Siemens Mobile Phones as secondary sponsors for next season, leaving two slots unfilled. …