BULMERS owner C&C is planning to boost its spending on sports sponsorship in Scotland as part of its efforts to raise the profile of its brands there -- including Magners and Tennent's.
Local reports suggest that C&C could target sponsorship of sports such as rugby and golf as it seeks to cement its presence in the country.
Scotland's national football team is currently sponsored by Tennent's and the £1m (€1.1m) a year deal, which began in 2006, is set to expire next June. The Scottish Football Association has reportedly said it is "in dialogue" about future sponsorship.
John Dunsmore, C&C's chief executive and previous boss at Scottish & Newcastle, is understood to be planning a "step change" in the company's sports sponsorship in Scotland. The company has previously refused to be drawn on whether the sponsorship by Tennent's of the Scottish football team would continue beyond its current contract.
It has also been speculated that C&C will begin sourcing more malt and barley in Scotland for its Glasgow brewing operation. Much of the grain is currently imported from continental Europe. Securing more of the commodities from Scotland could be a deft marketing ploy by the group, enabling it to sell Tennent's on the back of its native ingredients as well as its historic links with the country.
In August, C&C announced that it had paid £180m to AB Inbev to acquire its Tennent's brand as well as distribution rights to brands such as Stella Artois and Budweiser in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In October, Mr Dunsmore said a previously earmarked €8m marketing investment for C&C's cider brands, including the recently acquired Blackthorn, was being reviewed following the AB Inbev deal.