In preparation for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Heineken recently shared with the rugby community that it will enlist the services of 6 ambassadors of which all were former rugby players. Heineken is the official beer sponsor of the tournament. The former players are
- Will Carling
- Zinzan Brooke
- Scott Quinnell
- Matt Burke
- Gary Teichmann
- Rob Henderson
Hans Erik Tuijt, global brand activation manager at Heineken International, said: “Heineken’s Rugby World Cup campaign centres on the unwritten code of values in rugby union – respect, sportsmanship, loyalty and passion, and these six legends embody every one of these values. Heineken is the first brand to bring this type of content to a global audience during Rugby World Cup via social media. With these ex-players and our campaign around ‘The Code’, Heineken will bring rugby fans together, demonstrate our credentials as a true fan of the game and become a part of the conversation.”He added: “As a top-tier partner of Rugby World Cup 2011, Heineken understands the deep-rooted principles of ‘The Code’, and this campaign brings to life the innovative ways in which we reach out to our consumers. No matter how competitive and passionate it gets on the field, Heineken unites Rugby World Cup fans in a spirit of conviviality, sociability and mutual respect afterwards.” (Via SportPro link here).
Yesterday, the brand launched a youtube video series where the ambassadors appear on a branded Heineken set and discuss their previous experiences along with sharing insights into this years’ competition. I was quite pleased to see them incorporate technology into their chatter by “skyping” in a fellow ambassador who was not able to attend the show in person. Producing and self distributing 100% own-able/branded content is a major trend with the advancement of technology. The 1st video installment has received over 1,00 page views already.
A major initiative is to drive interactions with consumers through twitter. At the end of the segment, Heineken shows the twitter handles of their ambassadors along with a twitter hash tag (#TITG) to monitor all chatter around the This is the Game campaign. Other brands should benchmark this execution by Heineken to bring consumers value and real-time engagement. Look no further than Heineken’s facebook page for a central place to find all their activation plans around he 2011 Rugby World Cup.