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Heineken connects soccer fans to UCL via Foursquare check-ins at bars

Heineken is leveraging Foursquare’s post-check-in ad to connect bar-goers in the United States with the UEFA Champions League.

Heineken is the official sponsor of the soccer tournament and its “Road to the Final” campaign is bringing the excitement of the games to fans in the U.S. Fans are invited to check-in to retail locations to enter a sweepstakes, and Heineken will create an interactive Fan Footprint Heatmap to show the bars and restaurants where fans are viewing their team.

“What we want to do with our programs is we want to optimize on current consumer behavior,” said Bram Reukers, brand manager at Heineken, White Plains, NY. “Foursquare is a big platform, which offers us the perfect platform for post-check-in ads. They present the possibility to connect our consumer with the UCL experience.

“Through the Foursquare app the consumer is able to open the experience and have a chance to win the weekly or ultimate prizes,” he said. “Once they sign up for the UCL experience, they can collect points through Foursquare check-ins in order to have a bigger chance on one of the prizes.

“We can communicate our program at a relevant time through Foursquare, and they can leverage Foursquare to collect points for our UCL program. The main and key reason for this is that they already have an existing userbase that we can offer this UCL Heineken experience to.”

Who is the biggest fan?
Fans can compete for rewards and connect with other club supporters through Heineken’s partnership with Foursquare. Consumers can look at the Fan Footprint Heatmap to decide where to go to watch a match.

The Foursquare experience will work in retail locations that sell Heineken, so if consumers check-in at one of 190,000 bars, restaurants or grocery stores, they will receive a post-check-in ad with the UCL experience.

Some of the bars will also feature signage to promote the campaign. If consumers do not have Foursquare, they can enter by signing up with Facebook or texting HKNUCL to 88500.

The city with the most active UCL supporters will be crowned the winning city. Fans from that city will then be entered to win a trip to Europe to see a UCL match with two of their friends courtesy of Heineken.

A total of 1036 prizes will be given out, including six grand prize trips to a UCL game. The winners will be announced in April.

As of press time, the most checked-in cities were New York, San Francisco and San Jose, in that order. The club with the most check-ins was FC Barcelona.

On the microsite, fans can view the interactive heatmap to see where fans are located. Consumers can also invite friends to watch a game at a specific location via the microsite.

Another component of the Road to the Final campaign involves soccer legends taking over the Heineken Twitter handle during games. The players will answer fans’ questions and give their insight on the game in real-time.

Fans 21 and over can tweet questions at Heineken during the games using the hashtag #ShareTheSofa.

Dutch soccer legend Patrick Kluivert took over the Heineken handle when Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona face off in the UCL on Feb. 18, and Fernando Hierro will take over the account on Feb. 26.

These Twitter updates will be crucial for many soccer fans who will not be able to watch the games live because of the time difference between the U.S. and Europe. These fans will be able to follow along on their phones by checking the Heineken handle on Twitter.

Not only will Heineken be posting the players’ insight, but it will also tweet video clips that show highlights from the game as the match is played.

“Mobile plays a big role in our campaigns nowadays,” Mr. Reukers said. “Our customer is very text-savvy, they never leave their place without a phone. Almost 90 percent of U.S. adults have a cellphone and 55 percent have a smartphone.

“That backs up the reason why we believe mobile is big,” he said. “We want to engage with our fans in an easy and accessible way.

“The mobile phone is that easy access, they can access when they want, when they’re ready, so we give them that flexibility. We feel that giving them the possibility to connect with their phone something they always carry, really makes it easy for them to participate in the program.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York