Tiger Beer Brewer Backs Street Football

Tiger-Street-FootballStreet Football is big. No, it's not football with a pig skin played on Broadway, but soccer played perhaps on the Royal Trunk Road or in South America or Europe. And it's not big in the U.S., which is why you haven't (probably) heard of it. Still the events bring thousands of spectators, judging from ESPN shots of crowds watching the major tournaments.

But the amateur-level sport is big in Asia, which is why Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), which makes Tiger beer -- which you also may not have heard of if you don't have frequent flier miles to Asia or don't frequent Thai restaurants -- is a big backer, and sponsor of a huge tournament this month.

Tiger Street Football is a global tournament comprising 5-on-5 matches on asphalt on what Tiger describes as an oval pitch. The tournament, which is in Thailand starting March 9, will bring in amateur teams from Asia, South America and Europe (but not Brooklyn, alas), who will compete, leading to the world-title Thailand National Finals this month. The games will be aired on ESPN's Asia channel.

APB is supporting the event with its first Pacific Rim ad campaign via London-based production company and design studio Brand New School (BNS) under the aegis of AOR Iris Singapore. The campaign creative depicts a pair of players going one-on-one on an urban street, with computer graphics making the two seem to stream ribbons and shards of color as they play. While voiceover has the players talking about the aggressiveness, speed and talent needed to play the game, the players skid into walls, do street-running style leaps off of building flanks and charge around corners.  

A 20-second ad focuses on skill; the second is about speed, and a 30-second ad pitches speed against skill. BNS also did high-resolution print elements for the campaign matching these three themes. 

"The challenge ... was to dramatically show how street football is played," said BNS London's executive producer Kayt Hall, in a statement. Hall said the animation style uses the players' actions and even the movement of their clothes to convey the sport.

An APB spokesperson tells Marketing Daily that Tiger Street Football, in its second year, is the first of five events that that APB will sponsor this year. She says Tiger Street Football will then head to Singapore, China and Malaysia before culminating in the Grand Final event in Vietnam this coming September.

Over the years the brand has been involved in the Tiger Cup, an AFC-sanctioned, ASEAN Football Tournament, and “Tiger 5s,” an Indoor Tournament with five players per team, per the spokesperson, who said that, more recently the company has been a broadcast sponsor of Barclay’s Premier League. "Through football, Tiger has made good connections with its consumers regionally," she says. "Tiger Street football makes the ideal platform as it celebrates street culture; featuring entertainment that has an edgy street vibe, along with beer gardens and football clinics to provide an immersive experience for the consumers."

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