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Cambodia beer signs ad deal with Man City FC

Cans of Cambodia beer are set up for customers at a local restaurant in Phnom Penh.
Cans of Cambodia beer are set up for customers at a restaurant in Phnom Penh. Eliah Lillis

Cambodia beer signs ad deal with Man City FC

The logo for Cambodia Beer will now scroll across advertising boards for matches played by Manchester City FC after the brewery behind the local beverage giant signed a commercial deal with one of the England’s top Premier League football clubs.

The deal between Khmer Beverages Ltd and Manchester City marks one of the first times a Cambodian product will be pitched on the international stage. According to the agreement, Manchester City has signed a three-year renewable deal that makes Khmer Beverages’ products its official beer partner in Southeast Asia.

While the financial arrangement of the deal has not been made public, Im Sothearith, director of communications of Khmer Beverages Ltd, said yesterday that the deal allows the company’s products to appear on the LED board during Manchester City matches, while Cambodia Beer can use famous footballers from the club to brand its products.

“This is a new trend for people to see Cambodian products displayed on the international stage, and will be a source for national pride,” he said. “This is the first time ever that a Cambodia brand will be displayed in one of the most-watched sports leagues in the world.”

He added that Khmer Beverages had commercially supported a number of community football programmes in Cambodia before attempting to move into the big leagues by partnering with a European household name.

Established in 2009, Khmer Beverages also produces bottled water, soft drinks and energy drinks.

Damian Willoughby, senior vice president of partnerships at City Football Group, said in a press release that this marks the first major sports partnership of its kind to take place in Cambodia and further strengthens the club’s presence in Asia.

“We are excited to explore this market together, utilising Khmer Beverages’ great pedigree for creating dynamic campaigns to help us engage with Manchester City fans in the country,” he said.

Chris McCarthy, CEO of Mango Tango, a marketing and research firm, said that he expects more of these deals will be inked between Cambodian products and international sponsors.

“Cambodian beer companies have often used patriotic symbolism in their advertising, but many are shifting to more outward-looking international campaigns to build market share,” he said. “I think [this deal] speaks more to the level of spending on marketing activities, and a shift in tone.”

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