As the much anticipated UEFA Champions League Final holds on May 25, Heineken®, worlds’ most international premium lager beer, will be sponsoring five Nigerians, Diana Nwajiaku-Smart, Isaac Onochie Ijeh, Mayowa Opeyemi George, Franklin Chukwu Ijeh and Felix Amobichukwu Nwafor to the UCL Final in Wembley, London. Through their inventiveness, ingenuity and resourcefulness these five Nigerians were able to win the Heineken Race to the Final Challenge and an all-expense paid trip to watch the Final live at the Wembley stadium in London. The lucky winners proved to be exceptionally intelligent using their intellectual as well as the physical ability to outsmart 300 other participants in the Heineken Race to the Final Challenge.
Saturday the 13th of April, began with 300+ Heineken fans and UCL final hopefuls gathering at the National Theatre Iganmu for the Race to the Final Challenge. Contestants were expected to cleverly solve 4 riddles to decode 4 ‘secret’ locations and race against the clock to visit all locations and complete the journey, with only the first five contestants to arrive at the Heineken Champions Planet winning the tickets to Wembley.
Through the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, contestants received a new riddle every time they clocked-in at a location. With the RFID technology, contestant’s clues were posted on their Facebook wall for their friends to help them when they were stuck. What started out as a keen competition with every man for himself turned out be a team effort with strangers working together as friends to solve riddles in order to progress in the race. The riddles led contestants to strategic locations around Lagos: Golden Tulip Hotel-Festac, Rhapsody bar-Ikeja Mall, Sailors Bar-Lekki and finally Heineken Champions Planet, Victoria Island where the winners were celebrated.
The Race to the Final Challenge was tied to the recently unveiled Heineken ® UCL campaign called ‘Road to the Final’ with the launch of a television commercial titled “The Final”. In the commercial you get to see how, with imagination and resourcefulness, one man was able to race against the clock to witness club football’s most prestigious event – the Final itself live. He had to overcome many hurdles on his way from South America to London in just 24 hours. He proves to be a true Man of the World. And he got inspired by the inventiveness displayed by the great players in the UCL. The journey to the Final is filled with legendary adventures and stories. How he gets to the Final is as much fun as being at the Final.
“Taking a cue from the TV commercial, we created obstacles for contestants in the form of riddles and ask contestants to be inventive in solving the riddles then hit the road to the next destination where only the first five that arrive at the Heineken Champions Planet automatically win the 5 tickets to Wembley. The race should be great fun and an adventure in itself,” said Jacqueline Van Faassen, Senior brand Manager, Heineken ®
The mechanics of the challenge was designed not only to choose winners, but to bring out the real “Man of the World” in every participant in relation to the premium brand. It was also to display that Nigerians can display legendary acts through inventiveness and imagination by bringing out the can-do spirit in them and sportsmanship. Compared to a transparent draw in previous years, this year every consumer’s destiny was in his or her own hands.
The “Road to the Final” UCL campaign brings together Nigerian’s best in sport reportage and the best of ex internationals like Victor Ikpeba, Jay Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Peter Rufai, Colin Udoh, Charles Anazodo, Timi Okomi, Biola Kazeem and others who have visited the Heineken Champions Planet during the various stages of the competition.
On the Road to the Final, Heineken ® encourages fans to watch ‘The Final” TV advert on Heineken.com and to engage with the brand through a series of unique activities. Modern Trade stores will sell Special Edition Heineken UEFA Champions League cans and Special Edition UEFA Champions League Magnum packs. In April and May promotions will be running to offer a gift with purchase of the special UCL packs. In addition, Heineken ® has adopted 75 UCL viewing bars around the country where promotions are being held and consumers can win spectacular UCL prizes including an invitation to the Heineken Champions Planet in Lagos.
As the ‘Road to The Final’ reaches its climax, Heineken ® will equally invite fans to the Semi-Final and the Final VIP viewing events that will host over 250 fans from across Nigeria every match night to experience a premium football viewing experience at the Heineken Champions Planet, Victoria Island, Lagos. For a chance to see the Final in a uniquely Heineken way at the Heineken Champions Planet, consumers sign up on-line via a Heineken quiz on Facebook or log on to Heineken.com.
Diana Nwajiaku-Smart, commended Heineken for the opportunity not just to participate in Race to the Final to win a ticket to the Wembley final, but also encouraging the true spirit of sportsmanship, respect and friendship. “The prize is beyond a ticket to the Final, it includes the opportunity to meet Heineken and UCL fans from all over the world, take a tour around London and to attend super premium parties organized by Heineken and of course the UEFA Champions League Final match being the highlight of the trip.”