A year into a three-year partnership with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League, Heineken is launching a U.S. promotion around the nine-month series' May 25 finale at Wembley Stadium.
The digital campaign around the final centers on a national consumer competition on a mobile and Facebook application with the winning city getting a Heineken sponsored viewing party for the event.
Consumers (of age) have to take a photo of themselves watching a Champions League match, then upload it to Heineken's Facebook tab for the promotion, or to the mobile app (for Windows, Android and iPhone), and then tag their location. Every photo uploaded -- which people can do until mid-April -- scores a point for their city. Players can upload three per day. A city is automatically chosen for competition when a fan geotags his or her photo. Or it can happen when a participant manually enters a ZIP code, per the company.
Photo entries will be uploaded to a dynamic Heineken photo map that shows other photos pinned to their location, and new votes from the top 10. Heineken says it is supporting the program with two television spots, one of which is in rotation now, the other to start April 15. The campaign, which includes a Hispanic focus, is also being supported by ads on Fox Deportes, ESPN Deportes, ESPN, goal.com, among other channels with which Heineken has partnerships.
The "Heineken UCL Finals Epic Viewing Event" goes to the two cities with the most votes, and participants -- those who upload photos -- are automatically entered to win special treatment at the vieweing.
Belen Pamukoff, Heineken brand director, said the company has activated with digital elements in the past. "Globally, we have rolled out the Star Player app, which allows users to predict events in the match, gain points and compete against each other worldwide. Especially in Europe, where the matches fall into consumption hours, we’re seeing fantastic response from consumers.”
The third-largest brewer globally, and No. 2 import brand in the U.S. (after Corona), Heineken spent big last year trying to turn around slumping sales (thanks to Stella Artois and others that have upped their marketing ante.) In addition to redesigning its bottle, it had a big sponsorship behind the James Bond “SkyFall” movie.
Last fall, Heineken USA tapped Matthew Kahn (who replaced Colin Westcott-Pitt) as new VP of marketing, partly to help the U.S. launch of "Strongbow," a new hard-cider brand. Later in the fourth quarter, the company tapped Zambezi and its corporate comms agency Edelman to handle the new cider, Heineken Light and its Amstel Light brands.