Nothing wishy-washy about this innovative Heineken brand activation

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

UEFA Champions League fans in South Korea can’t watch the games in sports bars because of the time difference. The brand had a plan.

While soccer fans around the world were tuning into last night’s UEFA Champions League match between Paris St Germain (PSG) and Borussia Dortmund, fans in South Korea were doing things a little differently; they were keeping up with the action in 24-hour laundromats.

Photo: Heineken


This out-of-the-ordinary way of doing things is courtesy of an innovative brand activation by beer brewer Heineken, a long-time major sponsor of the pan-European club competition. 

While fans in Europe and Africa can watch the games in a convenient prime-time evening slot, in South Korea it’s a 3am kick-off. Those who like to watch the football in a convivial, fun-filled atmosphere are out of luck as sports bars in the country close at 2am. 

Recognising this conundrum, Heineken’s marketing team came up with an innovative brand activation called the ‘LaundroMatch’. 

In partnership with WashEnjoy, one of South Korea’s largest laundromat franchises, Heineken transformed 24-hour laundromats into 24-hour sports bars at locations across the country. 

For the effort of getting up early and going to the laundromats, consumers can scan QR codes located on the washing machines to access a complimentary TV subscription that allows them to watch the games. 

Redefining what it means to be a hard-core fan 

The campaign is meant to redefine what it means to be a hardcore fan in a bid to make football more inclusive and fun. 

“Heineken believes that being a ‘real hardcore’ football fan isn’t about how you look, it’s about how you behave,” said Giwoun Park, Marketing Director at Heineken Korea, in a press release. 

“Anyone who wakes up at ridiculous hours to watch their team, names their pets after their icons, or wears their lucky pair of socks during matches qualifies as hardcore. 

“We wanted to celebrate Asia’s hardcore fans who truly live and breathe the sport in a positive, sometimes quirky way.” 

As part of the match-night hype, Heineken in South Korea is also offering four all-expenses paid trips to the 2024 UEFA Champions League final in England on 1 June. 

The avid fans will be back in the laundromats tonight (early tomorrow morning South Korean time), to watch the second semi-final clash between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. 

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.