Carlsberg on moving beyond lad culture with Euro 2016 sponsorship

Carlsberg is looking to “move beyond” lad culture with its sponsorship of Euro 2016, but admits there will be challenges in appealing to football fans when England, Wales and Northern Ireland are all involved in the competition.

Its Euro 2016 sponsorship campaign will be fronted by former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel as he talks up Carlsberg’s commitment to “do it better for the fans”.

As part of the sponsorship, the beer brand will allow football fans to vote for the official Carlsberg Man of the Match award for each of the tournament’s 51 games via social media for the first time. It will also offer various prizes and opportunities for fans to meet players.

Euro 2016 already has noticeable differences to its past iterations, with the UK providing three competing nations (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the international tournament consisting of 24 teams; its largest ever total.

Richard Whitty, senior marketing manager for football at Carlsberg, says UK sponsors and brands looking to tap into Euro 2016 buzz will have to broaden their messaging beyond the England team.

He told Marketing Week: “The key will be offering a clear message. Over the last 18 months we’ve tried to ensure we have a clear role within football and what we offer the fans. We want people to know we’re very uniquely a beer brand and not just trying to be an Adidas, Nike or Beats.

“Having so many competing home nations is both a great challenge and opportunity. People will be keen to talk up the national significance and that epic feel will hopefully translate into one of the all-time biggest drinking occasions.”

Appealing beyond men

In particular, Euro 2016 will offer Carlsberg, which is a sponsor of the tournament for the eighth consecutive time, a chance to appeal to both sexes.

“[Euro 2016] offers us a broad opportunity to talk to just about everyone and we want to use that to show lad culture is not something we are bout,” added Whitty.“We have to move beyond it and the brand is now about being intelligent, clever and appealing to the widest audience possible. Female drinkers are very important for us.”

Authenticity

Moving into 2016, Whitty says craft beer will continue to be a trend and will influence Carlsberg in more noticeable ways.

He concludes: The rise of craft beer has made us realise how important our heritage and history is so you will see that communicated from Carlsberg a lot more next year in our marketing.

“There is a thirst for the bigger beer brands to tell stories about their production process and to really prove their authenticity.”

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