Coming together with friends over a Heineken® is synonymous with watching UEFA Champions League (UCL) football.  During the global pandemic however, this became impossible.

Heineken’s lead global creative execution for the 2020/21 UCL season was thus centered around the fact that even if you were watching matches alone, you were never truly watching alone.

Knowing that on matchdays, social media has become the primary fan interaction channel, we set out to bring ‘never watching alone’ to life locally by creating a sense of online togetherness while watching UCL matches safely at home and, in the process, own the Twitter narrative around UCL for Heineken.

We achieved this through an innovative influencer programme, giving South Africans access to legends of the game like never before while driving awareness of the conversation through key crossover sport / lifestyle personalities.


#HeinekenUCLLive became an online conversation driven by Heineken, creating a community of likeminded football fans together with the biggest name international UCL legends and local celebrities.

We engaged with former Bafana Bafana captain, Steven Pienaar as well as South African sportscasters Carol Tshabalala; Julia Stuart, Robert Marawa, and other celebrity football fans including Lunga Shabalala, Teko Modise, SPHEctacula and DJ Naves to engage with fans on game nights through the live Twitter #HeinekenUCLLive mechanic to ensure that South African fans were never watching alone.

In addition, international legends of the game including Cesc Fabregas; Michael Owen; Ashley Cole; Yaya Toure; Alessandro Del Piero; Pablo Zabaleta; Roberto Carlos and Xabi Alonso engaged with local fans on match nights, debating players, tactics, referee calls and creating an en masse local UCL viewing community, all under a Heineken banner.

Traditional PR tactics were used to supplement the influencer activity and help raise awareness around the Twitter mechanic and assist in landing relevant campaign messaging all while ensuring that fans engaged in the #HeinekenUCLLive experience.


+ 8.4M impressions and over +279k engagements across 7 game nights driven by influencer content

+64M total PR reach