Heineken deepens its ties with the Uefa Champions League


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

February 1, 2017 | 4 min read

Heineken has extended its sponsorship agreement with the Uefa Champions League (UCL) for an additional three-years as the brand presses ahead with its efforts to grow its global market share through sports sponsorships.

The new deal builds on the relationship between the pair which dates back to 1994 and will see the brewer continue to sponsor the football tournament until the end of the 2021 competition. The contract also includes the Uefa Super Cup from 2018 until 2020.

Heineken’s global sponsorship director, Hans Erik Tuijt, described the partnership with Uefa as “an integral part” of its global marketing activities which are increasingly focused on creating “engaging fan experiences that go beyond the 90 minutes of the match”.


Heineken will remain a sponsor of the UCL until the end of the 2021 competition

Tuijt added: “This activity compliments our other long-standing partnership platforms; Formula One, Rugby World Cup and James Bond.”

The Champions League and Formula One are huge global properties and Heineken’s partnerships with them are part of its attempts to grow its market share in regions such as Asia, Africa and South America. This strategy also saw it become a sponsor of the International Champions Cup and ESPN.

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This pursuit is being fuel by the brand’s focus on data, which it readily admits it still has much work to do to master.

When discussing the brands sponsorship strategy last summer Trikha said the company was looking at first party, second party and third party as being “the source of how we use data to better define our strategies”.

He admitted that it was “early days and we’re not advanced but what we are seeing is that when we associate ourselves to sports like the Champions League or Formula One we have a reason for consumers to share data so that we can use it in a way that gives some backing to them”.

With a greater understanding of how best to use this data Heineken believes it can be the benchmark of creativity in a mobile first world. As part of this aspiration it devised a new system to review its campaigns and will apply this strategy to its work with Uefa.


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