Whether it’s robust online fantasy leagues, the proliferation of live-blogging, watching playoff hockey on your mobile phone, or the ever-increasing number of athletes and coaches using Twitter, it’s no secret the Internet and social media have significantly transformed the way sports are played, covered and consumed. For brands, it’s also changed how sports are used to sell.
A recently released app from Heineken is a prime example of how marketers are embracing fans’ new digital habits. “Star Player” allows users to watch the UEFA Champions League soccer games while competing with friends and other fans for points by anticipating what will happen next. Key plays trigger the app’s ‘Match Moment’ in real-time and asks users to choose from possible outcomes (such as, goal or save?). It’s available on iTunes or via the Heineken Facebook page.
Smart brands break through the usual onslaught of online ads by creating apps that are actually fun and useful. Just as Kraft hit paydirt with its iFood Assistant app by becoming a tool for grocery shoppers, Heineken has taken what’s traditionally been the domain of barstool banter and turned it into a mobile game. The only downside? They waited until the Champs League semifinals to launch it.