Category B09. Sponsorship & Brand Partnership
Name Company Position
Julia George Edelman Senior Director
Jonny Hughes Edelman Associate Director
Anjali Nazarenko Edelman Account Director
Hannah Nottage Edelman Senior Account Manager
Harry Zelenka Martin Edelman Account Executive
Joanna Berkowitz Edelman Senior Account Executive

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Heineken®’s sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) in the 2017/18 season was brought to life through earned media via its ‘Share the Drama, Share the Trophy’ campaign. The activation involved the co-creation of branded content with global media and influencers, where Heineken® championed the drama of the competition and the passion of its fans over four months across four continents. Through events and activities, we moved the Heineken® UCL sponsorship beyond traditional media interviews with ambassadors into the feeds of influencers and consumers through immersive experiences and ambassador challenges to deepen fan engagement and generate spontaneous conversations.


Heineken® has been the exclusive beer sponsor of the UCL for 20+ years. 60+% of the UCL audience is from outside Europe, so Heineken®'s ambition was to reach these markets through an engaging platform with global relevance. Every season Heineken® activate their sponsorship asset, the UCL Trophy Tour, which engages with UCL fans around the world. The challenge for the 2017/18 campaign, ‘Share the Drama, Share the Trophy’, was to use Heineken®’s sponsorship assets including the Trophy Tour to secure the brand’s messaging in earned content beyond traditional media interviews, and events into the feeds of social media influencers to deepen fan engagement and generate spontaneous conversations. Objectives: - Maintain Heineken®’s status as the no.1 UCL partner by share of voice - Encourage ‘Men of the World’ target audience to watch matches with friends over a Heineken® - Maximise investment by raising awareness of 'Share the Drama' campaign across markets

Describe the creative idea

We highlighted Heineken®’s campaign belief that every UCL match delivers the same drama and emotion as a blockbuster film. It deserves to be shared amongst friends, over a Heineken®. To bring this insight to life we translated the most dramatic moments in UCL match nights – from heroing the pre-match build-up to celebrating the trophy being lifted these moments were captured via two immersive screening events for influencers and global media. The most dramatic in match moments were identified – these were used to co-create challenges with ambassadors on a global tour published by our media and influencers. An example of one of the challenges is when Heineken® tasked free-running influencers to race through Mexico City against a UCL legend to a meeting point, the race brought to life and replicated the dram of the final stages of the UCL.

Describe the strategy

To ensure the 2018 Trophy Tour story had drama at the heart, a strategic mix of three elements were used: - An immersive launch event experience - A global tour - An alternative UCL final spectacle experience We wanted Heineken® to be highly visible in all the coverage, above and beyond a simple brand mention and tagline at the end of editorial interview pieces with ambassadors. From an earned perspective, we hosted media and influencers at all three stages of the campaign to tell the Heineken® ‘Share the Drama’ and encouraged them to document their own experience through a dramatic lens. Media and influencers created dramatic content with Heineken® at the centre, inspired by famous UCL moments where players are under extreme pressure and fan excitement peaks. So, we co-created challenges with talent published by our media and influencers, which resulted in a series of engaging videos.

Describe the execution

- The launch event to begin the trophy’s global tour to fans, media and influencers highlighted the links between film and football for the Chelsea FC vs FC Barcelona last 16 match. Guests were taken on an action-packed journey through a series of rooms experiencing drama, surprise and suspense. After the final whistle, the UCL Trophy was revealed. The experience was documented live by influencers and resulted in extensive editorial coverage. - Next was a Trophy Tour visiting Mexico, Ivory Coast, and Cambodia. We hosted global media at each stop, who were invited to document the tour through a ‘dramatic’ lens. - For the final, we held the ultimate experiential screening for fans and media entitled ‘City of Champions’ in Athens, Greece. Legends of the game gave a movie-stunt style ‘epic entrance’ into the event by smashing through a wall in the Greek capital, the birth place of champions.

List the results

- Reach and engagement: Exceeded the KPI’s set with 1,800 pieces of earned content produced reaching 896m people. - Share of voice: Heineken® gained the highest share of voice by engagement compared to all partners on social media. - Sales: An increase of sales by +30% at two Trophy Tour stops (Ivory Coast +22% and Cambodia +15%), which have been labelled key markets for growth by the brand. - Engagement: The earned campaign produced the best performing online video content created with social media influencers resulted in higher viewing and engagement figures by 216% compared to the official campaign advertising video material despite spending significantly less on production and it being 100% organic, showing the return on investment for Heineken® was extremely efficient.