Heineken new partner of Amsterdam ArenA

The one and a half million beers that are annually tapped in the Amsterdam ArenA (home of football club Ajax) will soon be from Heineken. Heineken becomes a partner of the ArenA until 2026. The ArenA and current beer partner Royal Grolsch have decided in close consultation to end their cooperation.

The delivery contract with Grolsch ends soon. Due to this ending contract, the ArenA asked several brewers to make a proposal. HEINEKEN came up with a proposal that best fits the ambitions of the ArenA. CEO Henk Markerink of the Amsterdam ArenA: “The plans of HEINEKEN for the stadium are in line with our priorities and vision on the future. The customer experience during matches, events and business meetings is very important to us. Together with Grolsch we laid a solid foundation. Now it's up to HEINEKEN to give a new impulse.”

Visitors to the stadium will soon notice the change: still this year Heineken will be sold. Besides to Heineken beer other drinks from the brewer will be available in the ArenA like Heineken 0.0%, Apple Bandit, Desperados and the Brand special beers.

Quality, sustainability and innovation

The ArenA and HEINEKEN have agreed to jointly invest in customer and fan experience. Quality, sustainability and innovation are the key words. For example the brewer will assist in tours for visitors and the interior design of the stadium, which is currently being revamped. Further, HEINEKEN will participate in the Amsterdam Innovation Arena – the innovation network in which companies collaborate on stadium innovations.

Unforgettable experience

Geert Minnart, Hospitality Director HEINEKEN Nederland: “The Amsterdam ArenA is a special place in Amsterdam where you can experience sports, concerts and other major events. With our roots in Amsterdam off course we must be there. Just like for the ArenA, delivering top quality is the most important goal for us. We see opportunities to strengthen each other with our brands and innovations. We are proud to be part of this cooperation en are looking forward to the next years. Together we will give the visitors of the stadium an unforgettable experience.”

Courage and choices

Grolsch - a subsidiary of Asahi Europe Ltd - was one of the first founders of the Amsterdam ArenA in 1992. Grolsch also helped with the realization of the stadium in 1996. Then the beer brand for once extended the exclusive collaboration with the stadium until 2017. Henk Markerink: “We are grateful to Grolsch for everything they meant to us. Grolsch showed courage by going with us on this adventure, even before the stadium was build. We have come a long way together and 21 years is a good moment to each go our own way.”

Ambitious growth goals

Grolsch has significantly expanded its portfolio in recent years and finally strikes another way with the available sponsor funds. Besides to the Grolsch-brand the beer brewer will give more support to for example the beer brands Kornuit, Peroni and Asahi Super Dry. “We thank the Amsterdam ArenA for the pleasant and professional cooperation, in which we have grown successfully as partners, shoulder to shoulder”, says sales director Jacco Potkamp of Grolsch. “Grolsch has significantly expanded its portfolio in recent years. We believe that other types of investment will even more enable us to achieve our ambitious growth goals.”


The new partnership with HEINEKEN comes at a time when the stadium's renovation is in full swing. This is necessary to improve the quality of the stadium in the run-up to the European Championship 2020. In the Amsterdam ArenA there will be played four games for the EC. The circuits of the first and second rings are therefore widened. Particularly the spectators on the second ring will profit from this. The renovation also changes the appearance of the stadium: the shape of the Amsterdam ArenA changes from hollow to round. In March 2017 the first phase did start and it is expected that phase 1 will be delivered in February 2018.