How Carlsberg is looking to capitalise on its ‘biggest ever’ sponsorship season to cement its position as the beer of football

Carlsberg is gearing up for its “biggest ever” season of football sponsorship ahead of the Premier League and Euro 2016 championship, ramping up its football focused ad strategy over the next year to ensure the brand is seen as the only beer of choice for fans of the sport.

Following last week’s launch of its ‘If Carlsberg Did Kickabouts’, which aims to illustrate what a casual game in the park with friends would be like if it was as ‘superior’ as a Carlsberg beer, further digital support, in store advertising and use of its famed ‘If Carlsberg did…’ strapline will look to reinforce that idea with further

Speaking to The Drum Richard Whitty, senior marketing manager for football at Carlsberg, explained the beer brand’s ambitions for its ties around the game and its fans. “This season is arguably our biggest ever in football,” he said. “Although we’ve sponsored the Euros for 26 years and we’ve had the partnership with Liverpool coming up to 24 years, this is the first season ever that we’ve had the Premier League sponsorship and the Euro sponsorship in the same year. This is about really, really cementing our position within the game”.

The famous ‘If Carlsberg did…’ phrase returned earlier this year after a four year hiatus after the brand realised it was still part of everyday lexicon. Carlsberg will now look to use that to tie in to its football creative to cement the brewer’s tone of voice, produce “engaging, witty and intelligent” pieces of advertising and to make sure it doesn’t “mess up” the position it has established within the game.

The campaign will also feed into its Euro 2016 tournamnet drive with activation first planned for the December match draw and a consumer centric competition that will follow shortly after. “It’s kind of really teeing up that position in football and our points of view in football,” Whitty said of the campaign. “So when people do get excited about the Euros we’re able to continue seamlessly into it.

“We don’t necessarily want to have a Euros campaign that looks completely different to the Premier League – we want that to be ultimately really recognisable. Yes, we will have a more Euro centric piece but we want it to be recognised that it’s coming from the same brand and the same point of view that we’ve established over the Premier League season”.

Carlsberg also credited its sponsorship of football with raising the profile of the brand in a premium setting, particularly around the Premier League, which is popular across Europe, Asia and increasingly North America.

“When you’ve got a league that is recognised to be the best league in the world and we are an official sponsorship, absolutely it really drives the premium cues of the brand,” added Whitty.

To measure the success of the campaign Carlsberg will look first assess how many markets are using the assets versus previous campaigns, the level of awareness of Carlsberg as the official beer of the premier league, and the extra distribution points that the brand can build in store.

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