Final game, set, match for InBev

21 March, 2008

InBev is considering a range of new sponsorship deals after announcing that this summer 's Queen's Club tennis tournament would be the last to carry the Artois name.

Stella Artois has been associated with the pre-Wimbledon championship for 30 years, a tie-up that has cost the brewer £50 million over that time.

The decision to conclude one of the longest partnerships in British sport was said to be mutual. The Lawn Tennis Association mooted the idea of parting company because it wanted to attract one sponsor to support a wide range of tennis activities rather than just one tournament.

Stuart MacFarlane, president of InBev UK, said: "We have been delighted to support British tennis over such a long period, and are proud to have created and been associated with such a prestigious event as The Artois Championships - a shining jewel in the UK tennis crown.

"The LTA's decision to expand the sponsorship deal no longer fitted with our own strategic vision for the brand and so we have, very amicably, agreed to go our separate ways."

A spokesman for the brewer said it planned to launch a wave of marketing initiatives for Stella Artois in the coming months, adding: "We are looking at a range of things, but no decision has been made yet."

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