Carling said today it will become the official radio broadcast partner of the U.K.-based sports radio station talkSPORT, as well as the headline sponsor of talkSPORT’s coverage of 56 World Cup matches this month and next.
Under the partnership, talkSPORT correspondents will broadcast and report from pubs and bars across the U.K. during games, gauging fans’ reactions during fixtures that will be part of its on-air coverage.
Carling also will sponsor the radio station’s daily roundups, halftime highlights and online content, as well as host a weekly feature called “Shirt Tales,” which will feature guest stars discussing their favorite World Cup kits of all time.
“Excitement ahead of this winter is already sky high, and Carling’s long association with football makes it the perfect partner for talkSPORT’s World Cup coverage,” says Lee Willett, Carling’s brand director. “The high-profile partnership builds further on Carling’s football roots and keeps it front of mind for consumers throughout the tournament.”
talkSPORT says Carling is a “natural partner” for the station’s World Cup coverage because of its popularity with soccer fans across the country and its connection with “British football heritage.”
“We’ll be looking to create a buzz ahead of the biggest matches and soak up the excitement in pubs and bars across the U.K.,” George Mardle, head of business development for talkSPORT owner Wireless Group LTD.
The U.K.’s No. 1 lager brand also is partnering with talkSPORT to present the “Carling x CALM Mental Health Show,” a program that will feature legends including Stuart Pearce, Keira Walsh and Karen Bardsley discussing the pressure of international football and the importance of starting conversations about mental health amongst friends and families.
The program is part of Carling’s ongoing partnership with the Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, a U.K.-based mental health charity aimed at combatting suicide by providing life-saving services, provoking conversation and uniting people.
“We also recognize an opportunity to use the popularity of the tournament and the reach of talkSPORT and Carling to start conversations around important issues beyond football,” Willet says. “We’re proud to work closely with CALM and we hope our Mental Health Show will encourage more people to talk about their mental health during the tournament and beyond.”