Heineken Leverages UEFA Sponsorship in On-premise Channel

WHITE PLAINS, NY (December 21, 2009) – Heineken, The global sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious club soccer tournament in the world, is leveraging that sponsorship to reach consumers, 21 and older, in key on-premise accounts in select markets across the U.S. beginning in February and running through the championship final which will be held in Madrid Spain on May 22, 2010.

Heineken USA’s fully integrated on-premise program combines social and digital media outreach, consumer sweepstakes and soccer-themed POS elements that encourage consumers to engage directly with the promotion and each other.

In February, Heineken will launch an official UEFA Champions League (UCL) fan page on Facebook to coincide with the UCL Knockout round of competition that kicks off on February 22. Thousands of Facebook users, 21 and older, who are already fans of Heineken and soccer will be sent a special invitation to friend the fan page where they will find details and updates on the Heineken Trophy Tour as well as a promotion schedule for upcoming Heineken/UEFA on-premise events in their area (where legal). On the page, fans will also be encouraged to upload pictures from their Heineken/UEFA event experiences and to register for Heineken’s once-in-a-lifetime consumer sweepstakes program.

The sweepstakes encourages consumers to recruit their “team” of friends to enjoy the games at designated Heineken/UEFA on-premise accounts where they can (wheree legal) enter for the chance to win a fully expensed trip for four to see the UEFA Final in Madrid. A host of UEFA themed POS materials including banners, table tents and posters with tournament brackets, available in English and Spanish, as well as soccer jerseys, coasters and key chains will be available to excite and reward consumers who participate in the Heineken/UEFA on-premise events.

“The Heineken/UEFA partnership reaches over 100 countries and has been incredibly rewarding for our company and soccer fans throughout the world,” said Patrick Libonate, Channel Marketing Manager for Heineken USA. “In this coming World Cup year when soccer will be front and center on TV screens everywhere, we have the opportunity to really turn up the volume on this sponsorship here in the U.S., particularly in the on-premise channel where soccer enthusiasts often gather to watch and share the experience with their friends.  The combination of social media outreach and our amazing sweepstakes program is sure to engage soccer enthusiasts and help drive incremental traffic and sales in on-premise accounts during the program period.”

SBMX Online
To help drive awareness of the program with distributors and on-premise retail establishments, Heineken is promoting the program online at www.sportsbarmarketing.com <http://www.sportsbarmarketing.com> (SBMX), a site dedicated to providing B to B partners the most accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date sports TV schedules.  In addition SBMX offers a customizable search engine that allows accounts to research upcoming events and promotions to help plan schedules to increase store traffic and sales.

Libonate added, “Communication of our UEFA program out to our on-premise business partners is critical and SBMX offers a great tool to reach a much broader audience than we would through traditional word of mouth. We are excited to get the program up and running to increases visibility, trial and sales of Heineken and Heineken Light DraughtKeg and bottle formats and to help our on-premise partners improve their bottom line.”

Heineken Trophy Tour
In addition to sponsoring the 2010 UCL season, Heineken USA is sponsoring the UCL 2009 Trophy Tour. During the January through March 2010 period, the official 2009 UCL trophy will tour U.S. markets making stops in key on-premise soccer enthusiast accounts in Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. To help generate excitement for the sport, the UCL and Heineken draught beer, Heineken will host a series of on-premise promotions that will include: special guest appearances by local football teams, football VIPs, influencers and local media; Heineken and UCL branded merchandise and POS; and special drink offers on Heineken and Heineken Light draught beer (where legal). During select events, consumers will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the 2009 UCL trophy, which will be shared online via social media outlets including the Heineken UCL fan page on Facebook.

“Heineken and soccer (football to everyone outside the U.S.) make a great partnership,” concluded Libonate. “Our goal is to leverage the successful relationship that UEFA and Heineken have built worldwide here in the U.S. in 2010. We have put together an exciting and integrated plan to achieve this goal and look forward to kicking off the 2010 season and the trophy tour in the new year.”

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