Heineken to up experiential spend off the back of tennis partnership

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 28 January 2016
Heineken Australian Open event

Global beer brand Heineken is set to up its investment in activations and experiential marketing off the back of a successful partnership with the Australian Open.

Heineken has been a partner of the tennis tournament for the past 20 years, with the brand running events such as 'Heineken Saturday' in conjunction with the two week long competition.

Marketing manager for Heineken, Alessandro Manunta, told AdNews the Lion-distributed beer brand currently invests around 30% of its marketing budget in activations and experiential but over the next few years that is tipped to grow to 50%.

“If I look at the past few years, it's been something that has been growing quite a lot,” Manunta says. “The investment over the past five years in experiential and activations has doubled and it will continue to grow.

“Now days the above-the-line campaign is just a starting point, for us, it's more important that we provide the experience beyond the big campaign, with the objective of winning the heart of the consumer.”

Manunta explained the brand is able to be more flexible with its budget because a lot of its large above-the-line campaigns are created globally, noting that through the use of experiential and activations the brand is able to remain not only a global powerhouse, but also locally relevant.

“It's getting harder for brands to get their messages out there and that's why the campaign is not enough anymore and most brands now know they need to deliver those meaningful experiences,” he says.

The Australian Open is the biggest sponsorship event that the brand does in Australia, with the total investment sitting in the multimillion-dollar price bracket.

Across the two week Australian Open period, Heineken has several activations, from bars to parties, with the brand also turning to influencers such as The Bachelorette, Sam Frost, to extend the reach of its events.

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