March 12, 2019
As reported by The Drum, Heineken is looking to call itself the “Official Beer of Soccer”.
The multinational beer company, and partner of Major League Soccer (“MLS”), recently filed a trademark application in respect of the phrase with the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office. Reporters have speculated that this filing is in anticipation of the World Cup coming to North American in 2026. If this is indeed the motivation for the filing, Heineken may file a similar application with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, although no such application has been filed as of the writing of this article.
Heineken has been one of the biggest investors in North America’s soccer market. Although the company has long been associated with the sport in Europe, in 2014 it replaced Budweiser as the official beer of MLS and it is now the top beer associated with the sport in the United States. The company has also signed a five-year renewal, which will extend Heineken’s partnership with MLS into 2022.
According to Heineken’s vice-president of marketing, Felix Palau, the affiliation has been a boon to Heineken, noting that “since working with MLS, [Heineken] has seen a huge spike in [its] pull with soccer fans and supporters”. Given this success, and given that more than half of the global population (aged four and over) tuned into the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it is not surprising that the company is trying to maximize its association with the sport.
Authors: Amanda Bertucci and Sam Galway