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Heineken targets soccer fans with location-based mobile app

Heineken is activating its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League soccer tournament via a new mobile application that gives users a chance to have a grand viewing event for the final game in their hometown. 

Users of the Heineken Champions mobile and Facebook app can take a photo of themselves enjoying a UCL match and upload it, tag their location and enter to win. Every photo uploaded scores a point for the user?s city.

?It absolutely makes sense for a brand like Heineken to launch a mobile app to support to UEFA sponsorship for several reasons,? said Jessica Chaset, senior vice president of mobile solutions at Burst Media, Burlington, MA.

?First, at the base level, it?s another way for Heineken to reach customers who are passionate about soccer and the UEFA tournament,? she said.

?Second, they have very wisely designed the app to drive users back to the app repeatedly throughout the duration of the tournament and capitalize on the length of the tournament, the number of games, and thus the number of opportunities they have to reinforce the Heineken brand message to their consumers.?

Ms. Chaset is not affiliated with Heineken and spoke based on her experience in mobile.

Heineken was not able to comment by the press deadline.

Text to win
The Heineken Champions mobile and Facebook app features a leaderboard showing the top ten cities and how many votes each has.

Users can submit photos until mid-April. Heineken will host a final viewing party in the city with the most votes.

Another feature within the app is the Heineken Locator, which lets users find the closest retailer where they can purchase the company's products. 

Moreover, there is a text-to-win feature that gives users a chance to instantly win UEFA Champions League memorabilia at retail, such as scarves, jerseys, signed items and a special BeerTender.

The Heineken Champions app is available on Heineken's Facebook page, as well as through Apple's App Store and Google Play. The app was developed by Cultur8.

Mobilizing sports marketing
The new app is the latest example of how Heineken is embracing mobile.

The company also has a Star Player mobile app that lets users play live with every UEFA Champions League match as they watch TV. Users can anticipate the outcome of match moments in real-time to score points and create their own league.

Consumers also have a chance to get their score on one of Heineken's national leaderboards for the chance to win a prize or to play on the global leaderboard.

Last month, Heineken launched a campaign that encourages consumers to create their own music tracks for a chance to win a trip for two to the Ultra Music Festival via the Ultra Remix app as part of its sponsorship of the music festival (see story).

?Mobile is playing an increasingly larger role in brands? sports marketing efforts,? Ms. Chaset said.

?Second-screen viewing is on the rise and is of critical importance to sports marketers, as we see significant users consuming sports content via a tablet while watching a live sporting event on TV,? she said. ?Men aged 35-44 are the heaviest multitaskers of the fan base with more than 3 in 5 accessing sports content from a mobile device while watching sports on television, according to Burst Media.

?Brands need to capitalize on the second-screen experience.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York