Business Challenge

In 2016, Carling decided to re-establish its association with The Premier League by signing on as a new sponsor.

We were asked to help leverage the sponsorship to drive genuine business value and make Carling stand out from fellow sponsors such as Barclays and Nike.

Our objectives were threefold:

  • Use Carling’s three-year sponsorship to take an active role in fans’ weekly routine
  • Reward the outlets that stock the iconic lager and encourage new pubs to put Carling on tap
  • Drive footfall into pubs, and once consumers are in the pub, encourage choice over the competition


The pub has a special place in the footballing weekend. It is where the pre-match conversations begin with the armchair managers out en masse to highlight the folly of starting XIs across the country.

With one of our objectives being to take an active role in fans’ weekly routines, the footballing conversations in the pub before televised games was an area of intense focus, especially given the reach that Carling already has through its on-trade presence. We wanted to stoke the friendly rivalry that goes with the beautiful game and encourage choice over the competition in the process.

With this context in mind, a simple idea came to the fore that could have powerful results for Carling, its sales teams, its customers and the end consumer – They Score, You Score.

An hour ahead of every televised game, we surfaced one random player from each team when the starting XIs are announced and asked fans to pick the player they thought would score – a simple trigger coupled with a straightforward ask that did little to distract from the game or the conversations. Rather, it added to the conversation because if their player went on to score, consumers were rewarded with Premier League tickets, free pints and merchandise.

To make the initiative work hard for Carling and pubs, we knew that instant gratification was key to its success. A survey of the landscape showed that there was no consistent way for brands to deliver instant giveaways at scale. So, we went one step further and created a market first digital vouchering system, Drove, which allows independent pubs the ability to give away pint prizes from They Score, You Score at the point of purchase.

When They Score, You Score and Drove comes together, it creates quite a compelling package for all stakeholders:

  • The incentive of free pints of Carling drives football fans into pubs (we minimise the friction of finding a pub via a pub finder featuring in Carling Tap)
  • Carling’s sales team have a new tool in their arsenal for attracting and onboarding new pubs
  • Pubs of all sizes have a new reason to put Carling on tap over mainstream competition because of the footfall opportunities. This is particularly important as the number of lagers on tap are being reduced to make room for craft beers and other broader varieties.
  • The association with the Premier League and the cadence of televised games keeps Carling front of mind when it matters: prime drinking time in the pub when the game is on.
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The results for Carling Tap have been very impressive:

  • On average, over 120,000 plays every weekend
  • 70% of users return more than 10 times per month
  • Driven footfall with over 40,000 beer prizes redeemed in customer outlets
  • Best Interactive Entertainment Mobile Strategy Award at 2017 MOMAs
  • Best Relationship building/CRM Award at 2017 MOMAs