To once again showcase its support of soccer in the United States, Heineken, a brand of White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA, launched its Soccer is Here campaign.
The campaign debuts a plethora of renowned players as spokespeople, which include international Spanish star and New York City Football Club (NYCFC) captain David Villa, U.S. Women’s National team captain and Olympic summer games standout Carli Lloyd, and American soccer legend Landon Donovan, the company says.
Soccer is Here features a series of new commercials, contests and interactive engagements for Heineken’s partnership of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and Major League Soccer (MLS).
Developed by Publicis New York, the campaign kicked off in conjunction with MLS’ opening day on March 6 with the launch of Villa and Donovan’s 15-second spots, which showcase each player’s journey to prominence in the United States, the company says. The full 30-second campaign commercial, launching later this month, will highlight soccer’s rise and raise a glass to the supporters who helped lift the game, it adds.
Lloyd’s 15-second spot will launch in late April, in advance of this summer’s International and club team soccer tournaments. The commercials are slated to run throughout the UCL and MLS seasons, the company says.
Villa’s TV spot showcases the fact that soccer isn’t just big in Europe; the filled stadiums and crowd involvement are just as big in the United States, the company says. The commercial, which launched March 6, marks Villa’s first time speaking on-camera in English.
Also launched on March 6, Donovan’s spot provides his take on the current growth of the game in the United States versus what he experienced early on, and how that passion will continue to grow.
Lloyd’s Soccer is Here spot will debut in April, and she will be the first female athlete to be a spokesperson for a beer brand, the company says. .
“It’s been a long road for fans of soccer in America, and as a supporter of the game for decades abroad, Heineken toasts to fans old and new,” said Ralph Rijks, senior vice president of Heineken, in a statement. ”As the world’s most international beer, it’s clear to see soccer’s popularity is brewing in America. We are excited to be part of that momentum and heritage, and we’ll be bringing fans closer to the game all year long.”
Through key sponsorships and activities over the years, Heineken has become a worldwide leader in soccer, it says. With Soccer is Here, the company is tapping into that passion to take the game to new heights, it adds.
“The U.S. has taken a liking to soccer. There are more games televised, and more people are watching. Everywhere I have travelled in the U.S., I see fans eager to get to know the game I love,” Villa said in a statement. “Heineken’s support of soccer is known wherever you go around the world, and with their championing of the game in the U.S., myself and other players are excited to showcase the game we love to fans all across the country.”
Andy Bird, chief commercial officer at Publicis Worldwide North America, New York, said: “As a recent import to America myself, it’s clear that soccer has taken hold here in a huge way, more than ever before. The campaign captures the excitement and visceral nature of the match day experience, and aims to harness the swell of pride and emotion that comes with soccer. And as a fan I can’t think of a better suited match with the game in the U.S. than Heineken, as they already have a rich history with soccer around the world, and we're proud to be part of it.”
In addition to the TV spots, Heineken will reward fans with prizes every minute of every MLS and UCL match with its Never Miss a Minute contest. To enter, fans ages 21 and older can upload a photo of themselves watching any MLS or UCL match while enjoying a Heineken responsibly to Heineken.com/soccer.
For each match, 90 winners will receive a variety of prizes, including top-quality soccer gear, subscriptions to MLS Live, as well as one of seven grand prize trips for two, to an MLS or UCL group match, the company says.
Additionally, all season long major bars and restaurants, including Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters, will feature several Heineken and Heineken Light promotions during all MLS and major UCL matches, the company says.