Heineken hopes Rugby World Cup activity will boost flagging European sales

Heineken has reported overall organic growth of 2% for the first half of 2015 to £10.9bn compared with the same period last year, though in Western Europe organic sales were down 3%. However, the company hopes marketing plans in the second half of the year will boost sales.

Heineken: 'exciting' pipeline of marketing activity planned for the second half of 2015
Heineken: 'exciting' pipeline of marketing activity planned for the second half of 2015

In its latest financial results, Heineken sales grew 2% globally, with revenues down slightly in Europe but volumes of Heineken brand beer sold in the Western Europe region up 2.6%.

The brand has, the business said, benefitted from the "successful campaign to support the UEFA Champions League football sponsorship" which was activated in 109 markets and supported via digital innovation, special edition bottles and a global TV campaign. 

Heineken said the second half of the year would benefit from a significant pipeline of marketing and sponsorship activity, including partnering with the next James Bond movie and the brand's sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup.

'Exciting' pipeline of activity planned

In June, the brand revealed to Marketing it was kicking off its Rugby World Cup sponsorship programme with activity featuring England captain Will Carling, Matt Dawson, Scott Quinnell, Rocky Elsom and Shane Horgan, who will take part in an online-only pundit panel throughout the tournament, called the Heineken Rugby Studio.

It is also rolling out limited edition bottles and outdoor, print and digital and a TV ad that will break this month featuring rugby stars Jonah Lomu and John Smit. 

David Lette, Heineken brand director said by "associating ourselves with world class experieces" such as music, football and rugby, the brand had become the number one premium beer brand. 

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