Heineken was the official beer sponsor of the 2011 US Open of Tennis. For their investment the brand received stadium signage, on-site hospitality + activation, exclusive beer sales in stadium along with logo rights to take to retail. What they were not promised was public transportation ad space in or at sub way stations.
The import category growth leader Stella Artois capitalized on an opportunity to extend its brands appeal with some clever billboards with strong tennis references. This marks the brand’s 1st attempt at sports marketing in the USA. The Stella Artois brand has established brand platforms with culinary and film sponsorships. The upscale image around tennis and the US Open are appealing to the brand. Their efforts angered both Heineken and US Open officials. The controversy even produced a write up in the sports business journal here.
Below are photos of the Stella Artois/tennis campaign.