Heineken has recently announced its partnership with Dutch footballer Virgil van Dijk as its newest brand ambassador. Van Dijk, who is also the captain of the Netherlands national team, will lead Heineken’s latest campaign, ‘Cheers to the real hardcore fans,’ which aims to challenge negative fan stereotypes. The campaign was launched with a TV commercial and social media promotions.
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 an interview with SportsPro Live, van Dijk expressed his pride in being chosen as Heineken’s ambassador and emphasized the importance of reclaiming the phrase ‘real hardcore fans.’ 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.
Heineken has had a longstanding sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, which will begin its round of 16 matches shortly. This partnership aligns with Heineken’s objectives of promoting positive fan behavior while also supporting one of Europe’s most popular sporting events.