Activating Your Brand with Sports and Experiential
In recent years, brands have started placing higher importance on creating activations that center around sporting events throughout the world. Brands such as Bud Light and Microsoft have utilized sponsorships and experiential activations to tap into a specifically targeted market of consumers who are extremely loyal to certain sports leagues, teams, and players, ultimately resulting in the perfect opportunity to connect a brand with a sporting event that the audience is already passionate about. Bud Light’s Up For Whatever, which is heavily marketed during the NFL season, and Microsoft’s extreme sports Dew Tour capitalize on creating memorable connections between their brand and the consumers at these events, ultimately resulting in brand loyalty and repeat purchasing. These and many other brands are starting to see why experiential marketing is the perfect gateway for a company to seamlessly introduce their brand into the sporting event, which can enhance the consumer experience and create meaningful brand associations, if done correctly.
Heineken, one of the world’s largest beverage companies, has started mapping out its experiential strategy for the remainder of 2015, implementing a specific engagement strategy targeted around the 2015 Rugby World Cup taking place at Twickenham in England. Throughout the Rugby World Cup (RWC), Heineken will activate over 5,000 Heineken RWC Clubhouses throughout Australia, which serve as unique watch parties where rugby fans can watch the matches, participate in Heineken promotions, and ultimately earn a chance to win tickets to the Rugby World Cup Final in England.
Heineken will enhance the on-site experience through offering their own original digital content from the Heineken Rugby Studio, featuring interviews and commentary from the Heineken rugby legends Jonah Lomu and Rocky Elsom, along with other rugby legends from Australia, England, Ireland, and South Africa. Heineken wants to expand its reach past the 5,000 on-site activations, so they will also be introducing a limited edition 1st XV can pack, featuring the the iconic Heineken branding mixed with the beauty of the prestigious Rugby World Cup William Webb Ellis cup, which fans will be able to purchase from select bars and liquor stores. Accompanying the limited edition can is an enhanced website dedicated solely to the Rugby World Cup, offering fans an opportunity to connect with each other via social media, watch the engaging content from the Heineken Rugby Studio, and locate bars or ‘Heineken Fanzones’ where fans can watch the match and enjoy a Heineken.
The magic behind Heineken’s activation is that they are not only sponsoring thousands of events and enhancing the fan experience, they are doing it in a way that is authentic and real. By creating their own original content, Heineken is able to create associations between the beer brand and the Rugby World Cup with the hope of enticing fans to try out the beer and make their rugby watching experience more exciting than ever before. Heineken is using experiential marketing in a unique and genuine way that encompasses in-person, digital, and social experiences, allowing the company to reach hundreds of thousands of rugby fans throughout Australia and the rest of the world.