Heineken launches 2011/2012 UEFA Champions League campaign

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Premium international beer brand Heineken® today announced the launch of its new campaign for the forthcoming 2011/12 UEFA Champions League season, titled ‘Legendary Football’. The eagerly awaited campaign, centered around two new films featuring UEFA Champions League legends, aims to showcase how the UEFA Champions League, the world’s most prestigious and high-profile club competition, and Heineken, the world’s leading premium beer brand, combine to create spectacular artistry that fans around the world can enjoy.

Starring five highly-respected footballers, Gianluigi Buffon, Rene Adler, Patrick Vieira, Clarence Seedorf and Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who between them possess almost 350 UEFA Champions League match appearances, Heineken’s ‘’ Legendary Football’ aims to highlight the ‘stage’ of magical moments that UEFA Champions League and football legends create.

Cyril Charzat, Global Brand Director at Heineken, said: “As a long-term partner of the UEFA Champions League, Heineken understands the magic of the tournament and the masterpiece moments which make it so special. Legendary Football captivates the excitement of the very best that club football has to offer and the enjoyment of these high standards is something that Heineken has in common with football enthusiasts”.

The most high-profile edits of the films are two 30’ television advertisements, supported by a series of break ‘bumpers’ that will be broadcast in over 180 countries worldwide. The ‘Opera’, the first of the two endorsements, revolves around a compelling moment as Seedorf lines up to take a shot at Buffon, filmed in the stunning setting of a beautiful European opera house. The second video, ‘Pantheon’, takes place in the more historical, spectacular setting of an ancient Roman gladiatorial ring, where Vieira and Van Nistelrooy compete to win a header at Adler’s goal.

Patrick Vieira said: “When you walk out you hear the Champions League music, you think, ‘This is it’. This is our moment and when you’re there and you walk out onto the pitch, you play against the best teams in Europe, and the matches are always very exciting. I do think that there is a parallel between art and soccer, when you are playing in the Champions League you feel that you are in an arena. We players compare ourselves to gladiators and when the battle starts against the opponent you then have to go out there and try to win the match.”

“Heineken is proud to be working with such high profile ambassadors for the tournament and we are looking forward to our seventh year in partnership with UEFA’’ Hans-Erik Tuijt, Global Brand Activation Manager at Heineken, added.

A series of humorous adaptations have also been created along with outtakes and behind the scenes footage that will be used to supplement the television commercials across a variety of digital platforms.

Legendary Football will also incorporate Heineken’s innovative new interactive digital game, StarPlayer, launched last April and now expanded across new markets. StarPlayer offers users the chance to further enhance their UEFA Champions League viewing experience by trying to anticipate
what will happen next in the game in order to score points. Heineken will be running a number of leagues throughout the season with exclusive prizes on offer to winning players.

Heineken will continue to offer fans the opportunity to experience Legendary Football during the season through initiatives including VIP Back Stadium Passes and the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by Heineken, which gives fans the chance to get up close and personal with club football’s most coveted prize.

Heineken International announced in May 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.