Heineken launches match-finding platform so US fans can catch European soccer
Heineken is attempting to leverage the increasing popularity of European soccer in the US through a new partnership with Google which guides fans to the nearest bars showing live broadcasts.
Using the ‘Soccer Is Here’ website, fans can find out which New York bar is broadcasting a fixture from the Uefa Champions League, Premier League, La Liga as well as the MLS.
The program allows users to search by league, match or venue and will initially only be available in New York City, however Heineken USA says it will consider expanding it to other cities if it is successful.
Heineken used Google Maps API to create the framework of the site which is powered by Google’s local guides, places and search functions. The beer giant has signed up more than 200 bars in the New York City with each venue entering the fixtures they’ll be broadcasting into an interface that populates the fan site.
The initiative will also be supported by substantial digital media buy using geo-targeted search, display and video ads.
Heineken brand manager, Rob Ryder, said the concept for creating the site stemmed from his own experience of struggling to find a bar where he could watch Tottenham Hotspur games.
He added that the site was also intended to “help soccer fans really enjoy the sport in the company of their friends and also in the time-honored tradition of being in a bar”.
The move is part of Heineken’s broader "Soccer Is Here" campaign which was created in partnership with Publicis, New York and marked the beginning of its MLS sponsorship which began in January 2015.