Heineken #ShareTheSofa CL Twitter Q&A Aims For 100M+

Last week it was former Real Madrid and Liverpool star Fernando Morientes answering fans questions via Twitter for Heineken’s Champions league Activation #ShareTheSofa.


The Spanish striker was filmed clipping a Bonsai tree in a Madrid hotel penthouse while he waited for live Twitter questions on 27 November while he covered the Real Madrid v Galatasaray CL match and answered live fan questions.



Morientes was the latest former player to front Heineken’s #ShareTheSofa campaign – a social media initiative that enables football fans to interact with legends live watching a Champions League match by using the #ShareTheSofa hashtag.


This is the global brewing giant and long term UEFA CL sponsor’s latest second-screen campaign – which will last for the duration of the Champions League itself.


The initiative began with Dutch legend Ruud Gullit who participated in a live in-match Q&A and also challenged fans to play a video game with him.


Heineken has lined up more than a dozen other players through the competition and to chat with them fans simply need to follow @Heineken and send their questions using #Sharethesofa.


Thus far in October the campaign has included a candid Ruud van Nistelrooy swigging beer with friends watching Real Madrid beat Juventus and answering questions about his time at Manchester United and his relationship with Alex Ferguson.



While earlier in November it was the turn of former Argentinean player Hernan Crespo (a losing Champions League finalist in 2005) to answer live, quick fire questions at half time in the Barcelona vs AC Milan game.





#ShareTheShofa taps in to contemporary trends for both event-led second-screening and real time interactivity by inviting football fans to follow Heineken on Twitter and then a pose questions to former footballers.


It is proving fairly popular with football fans.


When Gullit was on #ShareTheSofa’ Heineken featured in 15 million tweets and the brand’s aim is that by the end of the season the tweet number will surpass 100 million.


There were 1,200 direct twitter questions directed to Morientes (who also fronted a Vine videos and YouTube content, including the cutting of the Bonsai tree, during the two hours Heineken had him for).


The idea developed through the combination of two key insights: firstly that 70% of UCL viewers watch the game at home, the second that more than two-thirds of Heineken consumers are also online while watching TV and thirdly that Twitter is the number one social media platform being used during live TV shows.


Initially, Heineken is itself measuring the success of the initiative based on scale and share of voice.


For example, the match with Hernan Crespo resulted in 46.8m earned impressions, 78% Twitter share of voice among UCL sponsor.


While other brands have been working a similar seam in tactical terms (eg Coke, Adidas and Vauxhall have all run similar Twitter based real time Q&As), Heineken’s #ShareTheSofa is more effectively dovetailed into the heart of its Champions League sponsorship activation.


It is the latest in a series of blockbuster second screen CL initiatives from the brand – which also included the highly successful ‘Star Player’ gaming app.




Heineken as a company has backed UEFA Champions league since 1994 and as the competition grew into the world’s most watched annual TV sporting event the brewer switched activation from its Amstel brand to its flagship global Heineken brand.


Since it signed its latest deal with UEFA, the Dutch based brewer is reported to pay £43m a year to sponsor the competition.


Heineken’s Global Activation Director, Hans Erik Tuijt, says the UEFA CL partnership has given the brand an edge for greater exploitation.


‘There is no doubt that the UEFA Champions League is the world’s most glamorous club competition with fans around the globe passionately involved in it every season. Today, over four billion viewers follow the competition’s proceedings from the group stage till the final match spanning nine months.’


According to Tuijt, more than one billion people watch the Champions League in a season and they watch it on the average of four to five times. That translates to over four billion people in a season of eight months.


To leverage these eyeballs, Heineken gain pitch side perimeter boarding and TV ad break bumpers around the world and Heineken is the only sponsor brand that buys the break bumpers outside Europe – making the CL one of the brand’s biggest emerging market marketing investments.


He also adds that the beer brand’s own research shows that more than 60% of football fans in the world now know that Heineken is the global sponsor of the UEFA Champions League.


To support this traditional work, Heineken also activates through sales promotions and particularly via social media to make the partnership relevant for the fan.




Heineken Twitter



Heineken Global Website



UEFA Champions League



Featured Showcases