Heineken kicks off soccer sponsorship

The Score's heavily promoted broadcast of the UEFA tournament next week has the Dutch brewer playing presenting sponsor, and Mediaedge:cia helming mega media buys.

The Score has secured the Canadian broadcast rights for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, and Heineken is heading up the sponsorship with a slew of new brand messages and a fresh 30-second spot developed by TBWA that ties into Heineken’s ‘Walk-in Fridge’ campaign. Mediaedge:cia is handling both the sponsorship deal and the mega media buys that will see the spot run on a variety of national channels – both traditional and specialty.

Heineken is also a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, which pits Europe’s best clubs against one another. ‘I wouldn’t say Heineken is a sponsor of soccer per se,’ Maggie Timoney, GM of Heineken Canada, tells MiC, ‘but in terms of the premium nature of the UEFA program we think it’s a very good fit: UEFA has a strong male viewership and we do know that the true soccer fans are more likely to purchase Heineken because of our association.’

Other advertisers on board for the network’s broadcast of the tournament include Lowes, Mazda, TD Bank, Warner Brothers and Belron Canada.

The soccer tourney, which features England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Belarus, Finland and host Sweden, airs live next week (June 15 to 29), with prime-time replays. The sports network will also air special pre-game and half-time episodes of The Footy Show with host James Sharman throughout the tournament. Matches will also stream live on TheScore.com.

For its part, The Score, which targets the 18-to-34 male demo and is available in 6.5 million homes in Canada, is promoting its coverage on the network’s TV station, website and mobile site. Two 15-second spots will run at least 24 times per day, and a key burn in the corner of the screen will alert viewers to the start of the event. The tournament will also be promoted on various Score shows. There will also be a note on the ticker four times per hour.

Online promotions for the event include a site takeover of TheScore.com this week, which receives 350,000 unique monthly visitors according to Google Analytics, as well as leaderboard and big box ads. The network will also provide a microsite with scores, standings, previews and blog coverage. The Score Mobile, available on iPhone with 500,000 downloads to date and launching this week on Blackberry with launch partner Budweiser, will also feature a large banner ad.