Heineken International has announced that it has extended its contract with UEFA to sponsor the UEFA Champions League for a further three years. Heineken’s new agreement will see its current deal with the world’s most prestigious club tournament extend until the end of the 2014/15 season. The partnership is set to continue to be an important component of the beer brand’s global sports sponsorship strategy while supporting the growth objectives of the brand.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Heineken® has sponsored the prestigious UEFA Champions League. With more than 4 billion TV viewers watching live coverage of the UEFA Champions League in more than 220 countries and territories over the course of a season, Heineken has successfully leveraged the sponsorship to engage a global network of football fans. In addition more than 100 Heineken markets around the world activate the sponsorship for up to eight months each season to engage with consumers and business partners.
Alexis Nasard, Chief Commercial Officer, Heineken said: “The UEFA Champions League is one of the world’s premier sporting competitions with unrivalled international reach and professional standards. This makes it a perfect match for Heineken, the world’s most international premium beer brand.” He added: “The sponsorship plays an important role in fuelling the continued growth of the Heineken brand around the globe. It reinforces brand strengths in those European markets where Heineken is well established and builds brand equity in key markets for the company, particularly in the developing world. This agreement is in-line with our strategy of concentrating on few large high quality properties to get the maximum benefit from our investments.”
As part of the new three-year deal Heineken receives, enhanced digital rights and becomes the exclusive presenting partner for delayed match highlights available on www.uefa.com. Heineken will also have the right to cover their sole and exclusive content on social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube for its activations like Back Stadium Pass and UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour.
In addition, the contract broadens global broadcast and event rights to encompass Germany, a rapidly growing market previously excluded in the original agreement. As part of the new deal, Heineken will be the only official sponsor with TV break bumpers during the whole season outside Europe during UEFAChampions League matches, while the deal continues to include the range of on- and off-trade activities, branded merchandise, promotions and brand PR activities from the previous contract.
Hans Erik Tuijt, Global Manager Heineken Activation, commented: “We are delighted to have extended our sponsorship. The UEFA Champions League provides excellent opportunities to engage with fans all over the globe and we are always looking for new ways to enhance their viewing experience. With the recent introduction of new innovations such as the Star Player live football game that lets fans watch UEFA Champions League matches on television whilst playing on a computer or digital device we have been able to create a more social experience around watching and enjoying the matches.”
David Taylor, UEFA Events S.A. CEO, said: “We are very pleased that our long term partner Heineken has chosen to extend its involvement with UEFA’s flagship club competition for a further three years. Their continued commitment confirms what a strong partnership we share. The support for the promotion of the UEFA Champions League on a global level by such a prestigious international brand, particularly with a view to this week’s exciting Final to be played at Wembley stadium, is highly valued.”
Through promotions such as the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, Heineken has succeeded in taking the brand into new markets in South America, Africa and the Far East using the power of football’s premier club tournament. Earlier this year, Heineken returned to Asia with the iconic UEFA Champions League trophy to give football fans the opportunity to experience the Trophy first-hand, to meet superstar footballers and to see a fantastic range of historical UEFA Champions League memorabilia.
The association with the UEFA Champions League also provides Heineken with a strong foundation to deliver its important social message to consumers, Enjoy Heineken Responsibly. Heineken is the only international beer brand that leverages a sponsorship to consistently communicate such a message for eights month of the year to an audience of over four billion consumers.
Alongside the UEFA Champions League, Heineken is also a sponsor of the quadrennial Rugby World Cup taking place later this year in New Zealand, as well as being the title sponsor of the Heineken Cup, European rugby’s premier club competition. In February, Heineken also signed a deal to become the official beer supplier for the London 2012 Olympic Games adding to its ever-growing portfolio of premium sports sponsorships.