We all know the buzz that surrounds the Champions League in Europe – as the competition draws to a close this year Tuesday and Wednesday nights are becoming phone-off-the-hook nail biters, as shown by Real Madrid scraping past Bayern Munich, and Liverpool eliminating Roma in an absolute goalfest.
However, what we don’t often see is how highly regarded the competition is around the world. For the past few years Heineken® have been treating fans in smaller football crazy countries to a ‘live’ opportunity to engage with the tournament through the brands ‘Share The Drama, Share The Trophy’ campaign as part of their wider partnership with the UEFA Champions League – birthing The Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken®.
In 2018, the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken® will visit six countries across four different continents providing fans outside of Europe with the opportunity to experience a sense of the film-like drama of the events and a chance to get closer to the iconic trophy.
We were lucky enough to be given access to the Cambodia leg of the tour – featuring none other than Manchester United and Real Madrid legend Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
Taking time out from his current role as the PSV Youth Team manager, Ruud is an official Heineken ambassador and relished the chance to bring the drama and prestige of the Champions League to a nation not normally associated with being mad for football.
Over the course of the trip, Ruud hosted several press conferences with local authorities – building relationships and foundations to help boost football in these emerging nations.
The former Manchester United striker also hosted a coaching clinic for local teams to come and show off their skills in front of the him, as well as picking up some words of advice to bring into their own game.
In amongst all the action we managed to get some time with Ruud to play our “Act It Out” Challenge alongside YouTube star Joseph Germani – check out the video to see who had to eat some Wasabi because of their acting talent (or lack of).
In order to replicate the feeling of each Champions League match being and unpredictable show, Heineken hosted a number of fan events filled with DJ’s, table football, photos with Ruud and the trophy, and most importantly chances to share a Heineken with their friends to celebrate the Champions League.
Needless to say, the nights were a huge success and we’re sure that going as we move towards the final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, there will be a lot more fans watching from those growing football nations that have been left with the lasting memories of when Heineken brought the Champions League to town.