SBJ/March 25-31, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Heineken targets U.S. fans of UEFA Champions League with new social media contest

A social media initiative by Heineken during the UEFA Champions League encourages American soccer fans to participate in a photo competition to win a viewing party for their city for the championship game.

Each time fans ages 21 and older post photos of themselves watching a Champions League match to Heineken’s Facebook page or mobile app, they win a point for their U.S. city. The two cities that have the most points when the contest closes after next month’s semifinals will be awarded a viewing party at a large hall for the Champions League Final on May 25. The winning events are expected to host more than 1,000 fans.

“It will be a premium event,” said Pattie Falch, Heineken’s brand director.

Heineken would bear the responsibility of securing and booking the host venues.

The contest kicked off earlier this month, when the beer company’s Champions League app was released for download. The early returns show promise: During the two days of the Champions League’s round of 16 that concluded two weeks ago, more than 1,000 photos were uploaded by fans. New York had an early lead, with Dallas; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles among other markets getting strong support.

Heineken is placing an emphasis on young adult male Hispanics in the U.S. with the campaign. Television spots and digital advertising have been placed with Fox Deportes (which is broadcasting the matches), ESPN Deportes and Goal.com, among other media outlets.

“We have a focus on Hispanic males age 21-34 because it’s the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S.,” said Colin Westcott-Pitt, Heineken’s vice president of marketing.

Heineken has sponsored the UEFA Champions League since 1994. Wieden & Kennedy, New York, is Heineken’s advertising agency. Heineken’s Champions League app was developed by Cultur8.



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