To help U.S. soccer fans get into the action of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League (UCL) games, Heineken is kicking off its 2015 #ChampionTheMatch UCL campaign. The brand of White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA will give fans of legal drinking age access to soccer legends through the Twitter handle @HeinekenSoccer, new Heineken UCL packages featuring contests, and a chance to get up close with the Champions League trophy, the brand says.
To test how much U.S. soccer fans love the UCL games, Heineken recently conducted a social experiment, which filmed unsuspecting fans in a New York City bodega during lunch hour and offered them a choice with a twist: go back to work or drop everything and immediately fly to Europe to watch a UCL match live in Barcelona.
"As some of the biggest soccer fans in the U.S., we know all too well the obstacles fans face in catching the best that the Champions League has to offer," said Ralph Rijks, vice president of Heineken USA, in a statement. "Through the #ChampionTheMatch launch, Heineken is bringing the thrill of the Champions League straight to fans and packing it with top content and plenty of surprises to make their match-day experience even better."
Also as part of #ChampiontheMatch,Heineken launched www.heineken.com/soccer, a new source for exclusive content, expert insights from UEFA legends, fan Q&As and more. Fans of legal drinking age also can follow @HeinekenSoccer on Twitter and the hashtag #ChampionTheMatch to receive real-time access and "live commentary" from former players, such as former UCL champion and current Major League Soccer (MLS) star David Villa, unexpected guests, and surprise Heineken twists during marquee matches throughout the tournament. For example, on Feb. 17, Dutch legend Ruud Gullit took over the @HeinekenSoccer handle as Paris Saint Germain faced off against Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk took on Bayern Munich. Heineken plans to extend its soccer coverage during the upcoming MLS season as well.
On the TV front, Heineken released a brand-new TV spot created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, titled “The Match.” The national 30-second spot shows just how far one fan and his friends will go to watch the big match, wherever they are.
This year also marks the introduction of the Heineken UCL promo packs in the United States. Fans of legal drinking age can purchase a promo pack and text HNKUCL to 8500 for a chance to win instant daily prizes such as UCL-branded gear or even V.I.P. trips to a UCL match in Europe by spinning the prize wheel. For more information and contest details, visit www.heineken.com/soccer.
For a more hands-on experience, Heineken also is giving fans a chance to get up close with the UCL Trophy in three U.S. Cities. The UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken will make stops around the United States including March17-18 in New York, April 17-18 in Dallas, and April 21-22 in Los Angeles before making the journey to Berlin’s Olympiastadion for the June 6 UCL Final. During the tour, fans can take photos with the trophy, see UCL memorabilia, and meet soccer legends and UCL winners.
Heineken began sponsoring the UCL in 2005 and has plans to continue sponsoring it until the end of the 2017-2018 season. Heineken will bring its sponsorship to more than 220 countries through marketing and PR efforts.