Heineken USA, White Plains, N.Y., entered into a long-term partnership agreement with Major League Soccer (MLS) that would make the Heineken brand the official beer of MLS. The partnership will commence in January 2015.
Heineken’s relationship with MLS corresponds with the next phase of the league’s evolution. In 2015, MLS’ 20th season will include a new-look crest, two new expansion clubs, new media partners and the Heineken partnership. MLS also will complement Heineken’s global soccer initiatives, including sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, to create year-long engagement with fans, the company says. Heineken will further complement its soccer properties with individual MLS club deals to be announced in the coming weeks.
“Soccer has been an invaluable platform for the Heineken brand for years, with our position as sponsor of the UEFA Champions League and other top soccer properties around the world,” said Nuno Teles, Heineken’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “Fans in the U.S. and across the globe appreciate the opportunity to enjoy first-class soccer with the highest quality premium beer. With this partnership, we look forward to continuing a lengthy tradition of creating unique experiences for fans everywhere and drive participation and engagement in the sport in a way that has never been done before in the U.S.”
Starting in 2015, as the official beer of MLS, Heineken will present MLS Rivalry Week. In addition, Heineken will feature strong visibility during nationally broadcast matches, on-site and digital activations, and point-of-sale materials.
“We are excited to welcome Heineken on board as we approach the league’s 20th season,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director of MLS business ventures, in a statement. “Heineken is a supporter of soccer globally and is a great fit for what’s next for Major League Soccer.”