Heineken, a brand of White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA, is strengthening its longstanding support of soccer by maintaining its partnership with the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and Major League Soccer (MLS), to ensure soccer fans stay engaged and refreshed throughout the 2017 season, it says. Beginning March 1, brand Heineken’s fully-integrated, 360-degree retail and on-premise They Score. You Score program will encourage legal drinking-age consumers to choose Heineken for all their soccer viewing occasions, while offering chances to win prizes with every goal scored during UCL and MLS matches, the company says. To drive consumer engagement, store traffic and repeat purchase, the campaign also will include national TV spots featuring UCL team manager Jose Mourinho, PR supported by UCL champion and reigning MLS Most Valuable Player David Villa, digital and social media, account activation and impactful merchandising, it adds.

“Our partnership with UCL and MLS taps into the intense passion and loyalty that soccer fans bring to a new season of exciting contests,” said Ralph Rijks, senior vice president at Heineken USA, in a statement. “They Score. You Score enhances the soccer viewing occasion through access to social content, the latest scores and upcoming games. We encourage fans to be prepared with food and a Heineken throughout the games, while offering them the chance to win prizes with each goal scored at every match.”

To drive awareness of the program throughout the UCL and MLS seasons, Heineken is targeting consumers seeking soccer-relevant content by activating national 15- and 30-second match-day TV commercials, digital and social content, and a bespoke mobile portal to keep Heineken top of mind, the company says. To sustain engagement and heighten the viewing experience, consumers can win a prize by after every goal scored through Heineken’s text-to-win program. Prizes include UCL and MLS gift cards worth up to $50 that can be redeemed for team merchandise, it adds.

The brand also has created a mobile soccer hub designed to provide fans with information on both soccer leagues and matches, including play schedules, countdowns to match days, live score updates, the latest world soccer news and special offers. Digital and social content will promote the program and prizes, driving consumers to the Heineken soccer website, it says. Regional and national accounts also are encouraged to visit the hub to customize the Heineken experience for their retail and on-premise locations, it adds. Program overlays can include individual contest elements and activations to drive consumers in store to increase purchase of Heineken and other relevant match viewing items.

Impactful displays and point-of-sale materials, including standees, cooler decals and table tents, communicate the text-to-win number and direct consumers to Heineken’s digital soccer hub to generate program awareness and engagement. Cross merchandising offers on the purchase of Heineken products and match day snack essentials will generate higher basket rings at retail, the company says.

Rijks added: “Soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. with a fan base of over 110 million. Heineken is the number one selling European beer among U.S. soccer fans, and is the most popular brand among both UCL and MLS fans. It’s the perfect match. The brand is uniquely positioned within the category to expand on our association with soccer, offering retailers and on-premise operators new opportunities to increase their Heineken sales and profits as the sport continues to grow in the U.S.”