Dutch brewer Heineken has announced its partnership with Liverpool and Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk as the brand’s newest ambassador. The multi-year agreement will see van Dijk lead Heineken’s latest campaign, ‘Cheers to the real hardcore fans’, which aims to challenge negative fan stereotypes. This campaign was launched with a TV commercial and social media promotions. Van Dijk now joins former Lioness Jill Scott MBE as an ambassador for Heineken.
The endorsement deal was facilitated by Quattro Sports Group, a sports marketing and content production agency established by Duncan Ross and Steven Halliwell. The agency plans to work with athletes and brands from various sports, focusing on off-pitch marketing activities such as sponsorship, content production, media and PR, and broadcast management.
In a statement, van Dijk expressed his pride and appreciation for the ‘Real Hardcore’ fans and emphasized the importance of reclaiming the phrase and removing its negative connotations from the game. He believes that education and communication are key to making change and hopes to be a part of that change by challenging the perception of what a real fan is. The partnership with Heineken aligns with these objectives.
The announcement of this partnership comes ahead of the UEFA Champions League’s round of 16 matches, a competition that Heineken has a longstanding sponsorship of. This collaboration marks an exciting opportunity for both parties to leverage their resources to create meaningful campaigns that resonate with audiences while promoting positive values in sports.