Archive for the ‘Liverpool’ 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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The “Real Work” of Gatorade

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This year, Gatorade has been challenging the young football athletes of the globe to show us their real work through an online contest called “Unreal Around the World,” in which athletes upload a video of themselves putting in the real work necessary to give a great performance on the pitch. The athletes behind the top five winning videos will win a trip around the world with stops at the top football meccas of the world, such as the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Bradenton, Florida,  London, Liverpool, AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Rio de Janeiro. To support the contest, MKTG INC is giving a taste of an unreal experience to a few elite footballers in London and New York.

On 26 May 2014, at the esteemed Emirates Stadium, 120 local athletes from academies were invited to take part in a competition that was like no other. Wearing technology that measured their biometric output, the teams were sent out to a divided pitch and started with rotations of small-sided games. Members of the Arsenal tech staff were on the sidelines providing their own assessments via an iPad scoring system. Athletes were awarded extra points for creativity and athletic ability.

Based on their scores from the wearable technology and the iPad scoring system, the top 12 overall players and the top 3 keepers were identified and highlighted in a final challenge of football drills. Drills were measured by time, creativity and accuracy.

The emotion of these athletes was intense; never before have they scored a goal to see a reaction of pyrotechnics, smoke and streamers, all in Emirates Stadium. One of the Arsenal legends, Martin Keown, made an appearance and awarded the top athletes with some words of wisdom and a congratulatory message.

Unreal Around the World will visit the New York area on May 30 at Sinatra Park in Hoboken, NJ.

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