Heineken will maintain its partnership with the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and Major League Soccer (MLS) to engage with soccer fans throughout the 2019 season.
Beginning March 1, Heineken’s fully-integrated, 360° retail and on-premise “We Are Soccer. We Are Heineken” program will encourage LDA fans to choose Heineken for their soccer-viewing and game-day occasions.
The sponsorship and program will leverage the growing popularity of soccer in the U.S., reinforce the tie between Heineken and soccer, and offer retailers opportunity to profit from shopper passion for the game, the company says. This years’ MLS Cup final in Atlanta featured over 73,000 attendees, a single-game MLS record.
The buy rate of MLS fans has increased 20% among Heineken drinkers, the company says, while MLS fans are 72% more likely to consider purchasing Heineken if they are aware of the sponsorship.
The program taps into various digital platforms to maximize awareness, engage consumers and drive them to retail outlets. Twitter and Facebook activation will drive consumers to the Heineken Soccer website for gameday content and prizing. Cross-merchandising partnerships with Pringles and Cheese-It are meant to enable out-of-section displays where impulse purchase can lead to higher basket rings. Display merchandising and customized regional POS will provide increased local relevance and offer retailers opportunity to connect with shoppers.
“Heineken and soccer are the perfect match,” says Raul Esquer Lopez, Heineken brand director. “Soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and Heineken has more repeat buyers and loyal drinkers than other leading European imports. The brand is uniquely positioned within the category to expand on its association with soccer and offer retailers and on-premise operators new opportunities to increase their Heineken sales and profits as the sport continues to grow.”