This article originally appeared on Heineken USA’s blog on Aug. 2, 2017.
To the great people of Europe: thanks for sharing! Teams from the top soccer leagues in the world touched down in the U.S. this summer for the fifth installment of the International Champions Cup and the competition was heated. Nobody knows the incomparable allure of a cold beer during a hot soccer match in a stadium full of passionate fans like Heineken® – presenting sponsor of the ICC for the second consecutive year. And we were on a mission to get those fans just as passionate about what they do with their empty Heineken cans after that last sip.
Heineken thinks green, and not just because it’s the color of our bottles. We have a long history of being an environmentally responsible company. That’s why HEINEKEN USA became the first brewer to join The Recycling Partnership – a national nonprofit that applies corporate partner funding to improve the recycling system in cities across the nation. For the second year in a row, we teamed up with The Recycling Partnership at the ICC to inspire soccer fans to share their passion for the beautiful game with the beautiful earth. “Last year’s collaboration with HEINEKEN USA helped us reach an entirely new audience in an unexpected place, teaching soccer fans about the benefits of recycling,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership.
This year’s recycling activations took place at two of the biggest ICC matches: Juventus vs. FC Barcelona on July 22nd at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and Real Madrid CF vs. FC Barcelona on July 29th at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL. Attendees 21+ who visited our ICC Match Fan Fest Heineken Beer Gardens had the opportunity to play a carnival-style game of chance with their empty Heineken cans for the chance to win prizes including koozies, passes to skip the line at the bar, and discount codes for safe rides home with Uber to prevent drinking and driving.
“Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is a core component of our global sustainability framework, ‘Brewing a Better World,’ and recycling is a proven pathway for achieving that commitment,” says Stephanie Johnston, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at HEINEKEN USA. “Collaborating with The Recycling Partnership at the International Champions Cup was an effective way to engage soccer fans who were visiting from across the world in the value and benefits of recycling.”
Now, about those two matches…
Juventus vs. FC Barcelona on July 22nd at MetLife Stadium in NJ: If watching Neymar create magic on the pitch is your thing, this was your match. Over 82,000 attendees witnessed Neymar open the scoring in the 15th minute after receiving a pass from Messi. No less than 11 minutes later, Neymar brilliantly broke by four Juventus defenders to score his second of the night. Juve fans got noisy after the break as Chiellini managed to slam a far-post header in the corner. But in the end, Barca proved dominant with a 2-1 victory.
Real Madrid CF vs. FC Barcelona on July 29th at a sold-out Hard Rock Stadium in Miami: More than a match, this was El Clásico – the name of every head-to-head matchup between these bitter rivals. In fact, Real Madrid and Barcelona’s rivalry is considered the biggest in the football world and dates back to their inaugural clash in 1902. El Clásico Miami was the first time the teams faced off on American soil, and the first El Clásico held outside Spain in 35 years. It’s every soccer fan’s fever dream of a matchup. Barca started fast with Messi netting the first goal within the first 3 minutes. Neymar, after a short injury rest, made his impact felt by assisting on the second goal to Rakitic. It was 2-0 and the game wasn’t even 10 minutes old. Madrid came storming back with goals by Kovacic in the 15th minute and Asensio in the 36th minute to knot things up 2-2 at the break. Barca came out strong in the second half with a goal by Pique in the 50th minute. Missed opportunities and fine saves from both goalkeepers allowed Barca to walk away with a 3-2 win and granted Barcelonistas current bragging rights.
Soccer is more than a sport, it’s a celebration. It’s about crossing borders for the love of the game. We know you’re a fan of soccer. And a fan of beer. Let’s add fan of the environment to your roster. Because with every Heineken you drink, you have the chance to make that empty green bottle even greener.