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The Multicultural Marketing Champion: Heineken


Who is the multicultural marketing champion? It is certainly Heineken.

During the next two weeks, the days when Heineken will be most consumed are not on weekends as most would expect. No, it will be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because when you are the sponsor of an event that crosses all barriers of language, race, color, nationality, geographical borders – you are able to reach a broad, diverse audience.

That event, the European Champions Clubs’ Cup (soccer) tournament, is one of the hallmark events on the European events calendar. Brexit-be-damned, the best clubs across the European football leagues from each country will play one another on Wednesdays and Thursdays as they work to reach the finals. The champion will be crowned on a neutral field and raise “Big Ears” (“la Coupe aux grandes oreilles” in French) as the winner’s trophy has come to be called. , as they call the trophy.

But as the most important soccer tournament in the world after the World Cup, the tournament also has one of the most multicultural audiences the planet. The number of fans outside Europe is equal to, or more than, the Europeans audience.

Why? Because while American football or baseball may have the eyes of U.S. consumers, soccer is the ultimate global and multicultural sport. Each of the teams have players and broad fan-bases hailing the world – Argentines, Brazilians, Mexicans, Colombians, Chileans, Paraguayans etc.

Heineken recognizes this, not only celebrating the sponsorship of the tournament but creating unique country-specific, deeply multicultural campaigns under the umbrella concept of the champions. The brand uniquely delivers messages that not only speak to the footballer, but every fan on a tailored level. Ultimately what Heineken does around the Champions League is very simple – promotions, giving away tickets to travel to the finals and more. They just do it smarter and more multiculturally focused than any other brand.

For example, as a Mexican, if I’m going to see my favorite team play, I might typically buy some Tecate. But not for the Champions, as I understand the tie between the tournament and Heineken, that the brand is deeply engaged with me on an individual level as well as the sport I’m passionate about – so that’s what I buy.

Heineken leverages its creativity to keep the consumer trapped in his or her bottle during a the Champions Cup, treating the consumer with respect, intelligence, surprising us with enthusiasm and acting like a very global and multicultural brand.

Viva la Champions, con Heineken!

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