Heineken’s 500m exclusion zone at Rugby World Cup unenforceable

Heineken has taken extreme measures to ensure it gets the biggest possible boost in sales from its upcoming sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup by setting up a 500 metre exclusion zone around tournament venues.

What it means is that the brewer’s £20 million deal includes a clause that allows Heineken to not only be the only brand of beer sold inside the venues, but also be the only beer that can be marketed within 500 metres of the stadiums.

This may be an ambitious arrangement as it will no doubt be extremely tough to police. The deal has started an advertising turf war with competitors around the stadiums with several rivals already moving forward with plans to advertise billboards outside the restricted zone.

However, it is not a first for a company to go such extreme lengths to promote their product, with Pepsi winning a battle against Coca-Cola for similar exclusivity, when in late 2013 it won exclusive pouring rights to all 24 of the City University of New York’s campuses.