Tag Heuer announces Premier League Partnership
With Claudio Ranieri

You’d think Claudio Ranieri would be in a dark room somewhere biting his nails. The Italian football manager of Leicester City is on the cusp of greatness as his team prepares for their final match that could win them the Premier League title. If this happens, it will be one of the most exciting underdog-to-ultimate-achiever stories in recent sporting history. It seems that Ranieri is the picture of calm: today he is at a Tag Heuer press conference in London for a special announcement along with Richard Masters, Managing Director of The Premier League, referee Matt Riley and Tag Heuer’s Managing Director Rob Diver .

On the other side of the world in Hong Kong and linked to us by satellite is Mr. Jean Claude Biver – the charismatic and somewhat eccentric (more on this later) CEO of Tag Heuer and President of LVMH Group Watch Division.

The gentlemen are here to announce a special partnership: Tag Heuer is the first Official Timekeeper and Official Watch supplier of the Premier League – but there’s another surprise that will impress watch collectors as well as gadget-fans.

Tag Heuer’s new Premier League Connected smartwatch has been developed to get the most out of every 90 minute game and will be worn by all referees during every Premier League match. It is so advanced that it took three years to programme and can track every part of the game, including red and yellow cards and penalties.

The strapline for this new partnership is #DontCrackUnderPressure and clearly Ranieri is wisely not taking anything for granted, despite the expectations that are being placed upon his players. Speaking about his team’s recent win against Spurs he said, “I was a little more light… A little!,” adding, “I want to fight until the end. Everyone says its there but I say it is in the mathematics. I tell my players, the result is not in the result, it is in the performance. We must continue to fight.”

Live in Hong Kong, Mr Biver joked that he had been pushing for a partnership with The Premier League for far too long. “I met Richard [Masters] for coffee in Notting Hill a long time ago and I told him that we should partner… he said yes but in a couple of years! and now at last!” Mr Biver proceeded to cut up some of his ‘La Neuvaz’ artisan cheese (made in his Swiss farm using traditional methods developed in the 14th century) as a gift to his UK audience (even we got some). More symbolic than showy, the cheese is usually only ever gifted to family and friends – being on Mr Biver’s cheese list is a big deal.

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If ever there was a fun-loving and likable chairperson to sponsor the Beautiful Game it would be Jean Claude Biver, the ‘grand fromage’ of Swiss watchmaking credited with reviving the Swiss watch industry over the past 30 years.

Right to leftL Claudio Ranieri; Richard Masters, Managing Director of The Premier League; Referee Matt Riley; Tag Heuer’s Managing Director Rob Diver .
Right to leftL Claudio Ranieri; Richard Masters, Managing Director of The Premier League; Referee Matt Riley; Tag Heuer’s Managing Director Rob Diver .
Jean-Claude Biver and former player and now broadcaster Peter Schmeichel with the famous cheese today in Hong Kong
Jean-Claude Biver and former player and now broadcaster Peter Schmeichel with the famous cheese today in Hong Kong