Design a platform to promote Bergenbier's sponsorhip of National Football Team, platform that integrates all football related initiatives. Own football moments, as moments with huge consumption potential. Mandatories:
- integrate product
- leverage brand message
- generate trial
General Information:
Strategy: Bergenbier beer and National Football Team have a long time affair that, due to poor performance of the national team, threatened to become toxic for the brand. A heavy investment in NFA sponsorship contracts that started in 1999 led to a strong benefit for the brand: color association (national team’s outfit is yellow, Bergenbier’s color is yellow), as well as significant trial uplift during high profile competitions.

Meanwhile, Bergenbier underwent serious communication turmoil, after easing the tone of their masculinity platform, to a drastic rebranding of visual identity & product focus communication, to returning to yellow & friendship platform. The only problem is that friendship is more of a territory, not a brand idea. This is why marketing team initiated process of brand statement refining in 2015, choosing, based on consumer research, to narrow friendship to the insight that men/ friends like to playfully compete, and most of the time it’s the race/ game that matters, not the outcome.

Football is major beer consumption opportunity in Romania (about 15%), so a high opportunity for any beer producer. Bergenbier had already built on this, continuing it seemed quite obvious. The main problem of sports association is that it carries heavy risks: a team is loved when winning, and heavily debated when losing. Bad moments for the team can easily spill over brands sponsoring the team. Romanian team dyeing their hair in yellow after a win in World Championship, and losing many important games afterwards, is already local legend, with Bergenbier part of it.

So the main challenge in continuing the association was not an easy one: how to leverage the sponsorship irrespective of the team performance during qualifications games, as well as (hopefully) during EURO 2016? How to make the affair work, “in sickness and in health”?

In 2015 sponsorship deal was revived, counting on huge media covering during EURO2016 qualifications. We received the brief to integrate all football related initiatives under one single platform. We should own any football moment & naturally integrate the product, building at the same time on the new foundation for friendship.

We challenged the traditional approach of sports sponsorships, which focuses on the team, and chose to focus on the fans. The sponsor should “voice” supporters, and assign their tribe the rightful role in the team. Bergenbier is the beer mate accompanying their football enjoyment, not a stiff corporation investing in footballers’ lavish lifestyle.

Bergenbier enabled fans’ admission into the national team, as the 12th player.
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