With Five-Year Renewal In March, 2018, Dutch Brewing Giant Continues To Grow The Beautiful Game in the U.S. with World-Class Experiences and Fan-Favourite Beer.
White Plains, N.Y. (March 20, 2018) –
History of the Partnership
Heineken is the Official Beer Partner of Major League Soccer. The partnership kicked off in 2014 and has included 40 intense MLS Heineken Rivalry Week matches, more than one million Heineken pints sold at MLS games annually at stadiums nationwide, 11 team sponsorships and counting, countless fan viewing parties, tailgate sponsorships and stadium giveaways and one iconic “Soccer Is Here” campaign with the 2016 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, David Villa, highlighting the game’s rich history in the U.S. and the energy and passion surrounding the sport.
The first five-year deal with MLS in 2014 was worth US$50 million to Major League Soccer.
Soccer Is Here Campaign, 2016
Extension To End of 2023 Season
On March 20, 2018, Heineken announced it has renewed its long-term partnership agreement with Major League Soccer (MLS) as the Official Beer of MLS for an additional five years, further establishing Heineken’s standing as a worldwide leader in the sport, and its commitment to growing the beautiful game in North America.
Heineken claims it has sold one million pints at MLS games annually throughout the partnership. In addition to its league-wide sponsorship agreement, Heineken is also a club partner of 11 MLS franchises.
Los Angeles Football Club partnered with Heineken prior to the club’s first season in MLS.
What Is In The Contract Renewal With MLS
According to Heineken and MLS, the renewed agreement will still “support the rivalries and competition that the sport brings and continue to give fans an elevated game time experience by bringing them together over their love of a cold beer when watching their sport.”
As part of the renewal, The Official Beer of MLS will continue to present MLS Heineken Rivalry Week. The 2018 Rivalry Week contained the largest and most action-packed slate of matchups of rivals in league history. The schedule ran from August 22-26 and included national broadcasts of major rivalry games including NYCFC-New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy-LAFC, Houston Dynamo-FC Dallas, Orlando City SC-Atlanta United and Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders FC.
In addition, Heineken was to open an in-stadium bar co-designed with Los Angeles Football Club supporters at the team’s Banc of California Stadium.
2017 was Major League Soccer’s most successful season, as the league saw record-breaking attendance and consumption, two new expansion teams debut in major markets, an influx of dynamic talent, and further increases in social and digital engagement.
2019 Heineken Rivalry Week
From August 21-25, 2019, the week features national broadcasts of the following matches (in USA):
- D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls (Aug. 21; 8 pm ET | UniMas)
- LAFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Aug. 21; 10:30 pm ET | UniMas)
- Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United FC (Aug. 22; 9:30 pm ET | ESPN)
- Orlando City SC vs. Atlanta United (Aug. 23; 8 pm ET | ESPN)
- Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC (Aug. 23; 10 pm ET | ESPN)
- NYCFC vs. New York Red Bulls (Aug. 24; 7 pm ET | ESPN2)
- FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew SC (Aug. 25; 8 pm ET | FS1)
- LAFC vs. LA Galaxy (Aug. 25; 10 pm ET | FS1)
Statistics (Through 2018 Season)
To get a sense of key moments Heineken and MLS have brought to fans in their quest to take the sport of soccer to new heights, check out the stats from the first four years of the program:
- Heineken has sold one million pints at MLS games annually throughout our partnership, per depletion stats.
- Heineken is the number one beer brand associated with soccer in the United States and is the preferred beer for millennial soccer fans nationwide.
- In addition to the league-wide partnership, Heineken is a club partner with 11 teams.
- This marks the 24th year Heineken will be officially sponsoring the beautiful game, as Heineken has been a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League since 1994.
- Soccer is the #1 sponsorship for the company worldwide, and the sponsorship with MLS is Heineken’s most significant in the United States.
- Heineken is taking this sponsorship to a different level by opening an in-stadium bar co-designed with LAFC supporters at the team’s Banc of California Stadium.
- Heineken has led more than 2,000 recycling and safe driving efforts at stadiums nationwide as part of its goal to help Brew A Better World through our soccer initiatives.
What They Said
“Soccer has been a crucial platform for Heineken across the globe with multiple league, team and championship game sponsorships. In the U.S. our partnership with MLS has helped drive the sport’s rapid expansion and growing popularity,”
“Our partners at MLS are some of our most important globally, and we can’t wait to continue bringing fans closer to the game they love, with a Heineken in hand.”Felix Palau, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Heineken
“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Heineken,”
“Heineken has a natural and global connection to the sport of soccer and continues to build deep relationships with fans through celebratory moments and their love of the beautiful game. We are excited to grow the sport of soccer together for many years to come.”Jennifer Cramer, VP of Partnership Marketing, MLS
Currently in its 23rd season, MLS continues to grow at an explosive rate, with more ways to consume content, a new expansion club debuting in Los Angeles (LAFC), new soccer-specific stadiums opening in Los Angeles and Washington D.C., and more stars in the prime of their career making MLS their “League of Choice.”
The beer brand has also been a sponsor of European soccer’s premier club competition, the UEFA Champions League, since 1994.
About HEINEKEN USA Inc.: The nation’s leading high-end beer importer, is a subsidiary of HEINEKEN International NV, the world’s most international brewer. Key brands imported into the U.S. are Heineken®, the world’s most international beer brand, the Dos Equis Franchise, the Tecate Franchise and Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders. HEINEKEN USA also imports Amstel Light, Amstel Xlight, Indio, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands. For the latest information on the company and brands, follow on Twitter @HeinekenUSACorp, or visit HEINEKENUSA.com. For news and updates on all things soccer through the lens of Heineken, follow them on Twitter and Instagram. For even more information, visit them online at Heineken.com.
About Major League Soccer (MLS): Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer features 24 clubs throughout the United States and Canada, and will feature 26 clubs for the 2020 season. For more information about MLS, visit http://www.MLSsoccer.com.