The brand has pledged to use the tournament as a vehicle to support the drinks industry in Ireland and increase footfall in pubs throughout the country.
The Carling Nations Cup, which kicks off on February 8th 2011, will be the first senior international tournament hosted in Ireland and marks a ‘significant investment’ by Carling which would not say just how much it is investing.
The new tournament will be played in a league format with six matches between the four neighbouring teams, the first two taking place at the Aviva Stadium on February 8th and 9th and the remaining four taking place in the week commencing Monday May 23rd.
Carling has been a major sponsor of football for many years and the announcement of the sponsorship this Autumn builds on its other sponsorships including the Carling Cup in England and Wales, the Carling Premiership in Northern Ireland and most recently, its sponsorship of the Scottish national team and Scottish Cup.
Niall Phelan, Country Manager for Carling distributors Molson Coors Ireland, believes that football is a great sociable experience, best shared with friends whether watching the action live at the game, in the pub or at home on the sofa.
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney added, “The Carling Nations Cup will be a significant boost for local tourism and businesses in the Dublin area and we look forward to welcoming thousands of fans from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to our new Aviva Stadium in February and May 2011”.
Former Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner, who earned 80 caps and is famously remembered for his penalty save against Romania at the 1990 World Cup, was on hand to lend his support too, alongside former internationals Pat Jennings of Northern Ireland, Craig Burley of Scotland and Ian Walsh of Wales.
“There is always a special atmosphere when international teams from Ireland and Britain play against each other and now we don’t have to rely on being drawn together in World Cup or European Championship qualifying groups,” stated Packie.
“It’s all very exciting,” he added, “It’s great to see a brand like Carling, which is a huge supporter of football, lend its support to this tournament. To use a goalkeeping term, the tournament is in ‘safe hands’,” he concluded.