Heineken® today announced the launch of StarPlayer, the live football game that lets fans watch UEFA Champions League matches on television whilst playing it in real-time on a computer, iPhone or iPod touch.
StarPlayer is a groundbreaking ‘dual screen’ digital initiative from Heineken which transforms TV watching into a social interactive experience for football fans. The game, which was created and devised by digital agency AKQA, taps into competitive banter of the fans by creating a live TV game experience that can be played from home.
StarPlayer, a unique overlay to live football matches, represents the first global example of a social media gaming platform. Fans watch the football on TV while playing StarPlayer in real-time, anticipating events unfolding on the pitch live and making decisions on what will play out over the next few seconds. The use of ‘dual screen’ technology that involves time-dependent decisions on passages of open-play makes StarPlayer a world-first innovation.
To score points, fans anticipate what will happen at key moments such as corners, free kicks, and penalties, for example whether the shot will be saved or whether there will be a goal in the next 30 seconds. With every correct forecast, fans gain points. Through the ‘Interactive Champions League’, they can also compete and share with their friends via Facebook and with other players around the world.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Heineken, the world’s most international beer brand, has sponsored the prestigious UEFA Champions League.
Floris Cobelens, Global Head of Digital at Heineken, commented: “StarPlayer will really change the way in which football fans interact with the UEFA Champions League, creating a more social experience around watching and enjoying the matches. For Heineken to be able to bring the excitement and competition of these premium matches to the actual fingertips of the fans through the cutting edge ‘dual screen’ technology of StarPlayer really showcases our commitment to providing extraordinary innovative and engaging experiences for fans.”
Heineken is one of the first global brands to launch an iAd to promote the UK launch of StarPlayer on iPhone and iPod touch. iAd is Apple’s revolutionary new mobile advertising network, reaching millions of iPhone and iPod touch users in their favourite apps. The iAd delivers a cut down “demo” version of the StarPlayer game and allows consumers to get an engaging, playful gameplay experience, before going on to download the app and playing for real.
The iAd launches to the UK market on April 27th and runs until May 28th. It will also run during the 2011/12 league from September in global markets to coincide with the global launch of StarPlayer.
The StarPlayer game is available to play today [April 27th] on the Heineken Facebook page and can be downloaded for free from the App Store on iPhone or iPod touch or at the www.itunes.com/appstore in preparation of the final stages of the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League season and ahead of the 2011/12 season.