Carling lager has signed a music sponsorship deal believed to be worth up to £20m over three years.

The brand, which backed Premier League football for eight years, is to become the British sponsorship partner of the American company Clear Channel Entertainment, whose artists include U2 and Madonna.

Carling will be able to use its brand name on two big tours a year. The first tour likely to carry the Carling name is Rod Stewart.

Britain's biggest lager brand can also put its name on the Hammersmith Apollo

and the Manchester Apollo, at one time both named the Labatt's Apollo after the Canadian lager brand.

Clear Channel will also put together three special "Carling homecoming" concerts each year, which will take top artists back to the venues where they first found fame.

Carling will also get "pouring rights" to sell its lager in Clear Channel's 23 British theatres and arenas, which include the Lyceum and Dominion theatres in London and the Cardiff and Sheffield arenas. The beer group will also be able to sell tickets for events before they go on general sale to the public.

Carling, which is being sold by Interbrew to Coors of the United States, pulled out of the Premiership last year when the price demanded by the FA rose too high.