Archive for the ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ tag

Guinness ICC 2014: Soccer, Smirnoff Ice and Setting Records

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With the excitement of a thrilling World Cup still in the air, soccer fans across the US had little time to catch their breath as the largest soccer tournament in America was upon them. For the second year in a row, Guinness was the title sponsor of the International Champions Cup (ICC), a two-week tournament pitting some of the best soccer clubs from around the world against one another right here in the United States. This year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid sought to defend their 2013 title against Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, FC Inter, AC Milan, AS Roma and Olympiacos.

The tournament spanned 12 US cities, drawing in over 640,000 passionate fans to the stadiums and exponentially more through live broadcasting on NBC Sports, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Network Television. The ICC made its presence known, appearing several times on ESPN’s Top 10 plays (including Wayne Rooney’s awesome goal in the final match). Most impressive, perhaps, was the Manchester United vs Real Madrid match in Ann Arbor, Michigan where 109,318 fans filled “The Big House,” accounting for the largest crowd to ever watch a professional soccer game in the US. The irony of Guinness setting a record is not lost here.

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All ICC stadium events featured a Guinness Beer Garden providing avid fans with cold beer, giveaways and MKTG INC staff. MKTG INC also executed 161 events at designated local Fan Hubs across the ICC cities, where consumers competed in prop pick contests to win premium Guinness soccer swag and received complimentary beer samples. These events coincided with televised ICC matches and drew even more viewers for the tournament.

MKTG INC also managed the sampling of portfolio-partner Smirnoff Ice at the Dallas and Miami events. Over 2,400 consumers (21+) sampled Smirnoff Ice Original, Screwdriver and Watermelon Mimosa across these two events. Many had never tasted the brand before but eagerly welcomed the ice cold product on those blistering hot days. Both Guinness and Smirnoff Ice saw impressive sales at the stadiums, further establishing them as drinks of choice when watching soccer.

In the end, Manchester United faced off against its heated rival Liverpool in front of a roaring crowd of over 50,000 fans in Miami. After a slow start, Wayne Rooney and his Manchester United team rallied an exciting comeback to win 3-1, claiming the 2014 International Champions Cup as their own. Once again, Guinness treated fans to some of the best soccer the world has to offer right in their own backyards. While it may have only been considered a friendly, the passion, records and bragging rights are certainly real.

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No Friendlies. Just Football (and Guinness Black Lager!).

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Guinness Black Lager Photo Credit: Marc Serota

If you felt there was more football on TV this summer than normal (the European kind, not the ‘Merica kind) and that some of your favorite sports stadiums were housing teams with names that didn’t sound like they were in the NFC or AFC, you certainly were onto something. This summer kicked off the first ever Guinness International Champions Cup; an 8-team tournament pitting some of the world’s best and most prestigious football clubs against each other in a series of elimination matches. The tournament began July 31st at AT&T Park in San Francisco and traversed the U.S. for over a week, ending with the finals at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on August 7th.

As the title sponsor, Guinness had the opportunity to sample Guinness Black Lager at all the tournament locations. MKTG INC set up stations in each stadium’s highest traffic areas, sampling Guinness Black Lager and giving away ICC commemorative cups to hordes of fans (21 and over). With sampling teams that topped 30 in some cities, Guinness Black Lager made quite the splash, leaving consumers pleasantly surprised by the rich and satisfying taste from the lager’s roasted barley. Fans were also surrounded by concession stands selling Guinness Black Lager, most of which reported record sales on game day.

The tournament concluded with Real Madrid topping Chelsea 3-1 in a thrilling final featuring two goals by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, earning him Man of the Tournament honors. Over 20,000 consumers sampled Guinness Black Lager across seven days, marking an immense step for Guinness Black Lager and for football fans throughout the U.S. Some might even say it was a GOOOOOOAAALLL!

Written by: Charlie DeCrescenzo

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