Heineken has announced its partnership with Virgil van Dijk as its newest ambassador, joining former Lioness Jill Scott MBE. The multi-year agreement will see van Dijk lead the brand’s latest campaign, ‘Cheers to the real hardcore fans’, which aims to challenge negative fan stereotypes. This 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.
Van Dijk expressed his pride in being an ambassador for Heineken and emphasized the importance of reclaiming the phrase “Real Hardcore” and removing its negative connotations from the game. 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.
The partnership with Heineken aligns with these objectives, as it provides an opportunity for Van Dijk to use his platform to make a positive impact on football fans around the world. This announcement comes ahead of the UEFA Champions League’s round of 16 matches, which Heineken has a longstanding sponsorship of.