Heineken has been to the fore in sports sponsorship here in recent weeks with the relaunch of the Heineken Champions’ Cup in Rugby but the brand has also been busy in other sports and was yesterday unveiled as the latest official partner of Formula E, the electric motor racing circuit.
Associating beer with driving is a fine line to tread but throughout the existing partnership with Formula One that has been driven by a counter-intuitive campaign urging people to never drink and drive.
It has been backed with significant weight of advertising and the use of stars including Jackie Stewart and Nico Rosberg.
The move into Formula E will include pouring rights at venues which would be a given for beer brands as well as branding and activation rights around the growing sport.
The World Championship title partner is swiss multinational engineering company ABB but the sport has also attracted such diverse sponsorship backers as Allianz and DHL as well as the more expected Nissan and BMW both of whom run teams.
The Championship takes place on street circuits in ten cities around the world including New York, Paris and Rome.
There are currently ten teams and twenty drivers taking part and the sport has an innovative engagement tool entitled Fan Boost which allows fans to vote for their favourite driver ahead of and during a race and that driver then getting a five-second power boost during the second half of the race.
Now that’s fan engagement.