WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Major League Soccer (MLS) and premium beer brand Heineken® kick-off the second MLS Heineken® Rivalry Week program today, which features two separate weekends of heated competition throughout the summer – May 20-22 and August 26-28 – that highlight the league's most anticipated matchups of the year, as well as supporting events in multiple cities to get fans even closer to the action. The launch of Heineken Rivalry Week adds another chapter to Heineken's dedication toward the proliferation of soccer in the U.S., and comes amidst its spirited "Soccer is Here" campaign launching earlier in 2016, featuring soccer legends David Villa, Carli Lloyd and Landon Donovan.
As part of its established roster of Heineken Rivalry Week activities and programming, Heineken's commitment to elevating match-day experiences in unique ways for soccer fans continues to flourish, including the evolution of the one-of-a-kind Heineken House, this year popping-up in Los Angeles, and a custom, life-sized foosball table in conjunction with MLS, that will make its debut in New York City to celebrate some of the biggest rivalries in the city.
The LA Galaxy Foundation will be kicking off May rivalry weekend in conjunction with the renowned Heineken House, which will be open on a RSVP basis (21+ for entry) from Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22. The Heineken House, which will be located at 1136 Highland Ave in West Hollywood –will feature live viewing events and DJs for the weekend match-ups, stations that celebrate MLS rivalries and other interactive elements. Retired MLS great, Landon Donovan will also make an appearance on Sunday May 22 to talk about his legendary rivalry experiences and engage with fans during the Los Angeles Galaxy/San Jose Earthquakes match. A full schedule of events, including hours of operation, is available online at www.HeinekenRivalryWeek.com where fans can RSVP to visit each day.
In New York City, a custom-built MLS Heineken Rivalry Week Life-Sized Human Foosball footprint will pop-up in Herald Square on Thursday, May 19. The set up features a life-sized pitch created in the same fashion as the popular table game. Open for viewing and participation throughout the day, teams of four will be able to face off against each other in friendly matches. To celebrate the rivalries of the city, MLS & Heineken will feature matches showcasing some of the most passionate pairings from the Five Boroughs. This event is free and open to the public, 21 and over, from 8:00am ET to 6:00pm ET.
Following the Foosball pop-up in Herald Square, Buffalo Wild Wings in Times Square will host a MLS Heineken Rivalry Week Celebration from 6:00pm–8:00pm ET on Thursday, May 19. NYCFC and NY Red Bull players will make appearances for photos and autographs, and the coveted MLS Cup will also be present. Heineken foosball tables, MLS jerseys and soccer balls, and NYCFC game tickets will all be given away to fans, in addition to Heineken beer specials. Fans are encouraged to watch all Rivalry Week action at Buffalo Wild Wings across the country, where Heineken® and Heineken® Light can be found during all matches and all season long.
"Rivalries are the backbone of sports, and through Heineken House and the life-sized foosball pop-up we're getting fans closer to the most passionate and exciting rivalry moments happening within the fastest growing sport in the States," said Nuno Teles, CMO, Heineken USA. "Heineken and MLS continues to be a perfect match to celebrate Rivalry Week and the competitive spirit that comes alongside in the U.S., especially among two premium brands that have always had soccer deeply rooted within their DNA."
Celebrating Fierce Rival Traditions
Rivalry Week games are broadcast live on MLS partner channels and will take place on the weekends of May 20-22 and August 26-28 based on the following schedule of events:
Heineken Rivalry Week: May 20-22
- May 20: Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United (7:00pm ET, UniMás, MLS LIVE)
- May 21: NYCFC vs. NY Red Bulls (3:00pm ET, FOX, MLS LIVE)
- May 22: Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (4:30pm ET, ESPN, TSN, MLS LIVE)
- May 22: LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes (7:00pm ET, FS1, MLS LIVE)
Heineken Rivalry Week: Aug. 26-28
- Aug. 26: Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (8:00pm ET, UniMás, MLS LIVE, KMYU)
- Aug. 27: Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas (9:00pm ET, MLS LIVE)
- Aug. 27: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact (7:30pm ET, TSN4, RDS, MLS LIVE)
- Aug. 28: NY Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution (2:30pm ET, ESPN, MLS LIVE)
- Aug. 28: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders (5:00pm ET, ESPN, MLS LIVE)
- Aug. 28: Orlando City vs. NYCFC (7:00pm ET, FS1, MLS LIVE)
New this year on social media, in celebration of the Heineken Rivalry Week in May, MLS and Twitter worked together to create a custom emoji that will accompany the official MLS Heineken Rivalry Week hashtag: #RivalryWeek. The emoji will launch at 9:00am ET on Thursday, May 19 and be active on the Twitter platform through 9:00am ET on Monday, May 23.
"Get Me In There!" Content Series
Back by popular demand, and to further showcase the passion and virtues of various clubs and its supporters during MLS Heineken Rivalry Week, the "Get Me In There!" content series will resume hitting MLS markets across the country. The series will be produced with the goal of immersing viewers in the communal pageantry that defines MLS fandom. Every MLS club boasts its own distinct fan culture and match day experience. "Get Me In There!" highlights this diversity while celebrating the artistry, devotion, and fellowship of North American soccer fans. The series will travel across North America to walk in the shoes of the people driving soccer's growth – the fans of MLS clubs. Content from the series can be found by following @heinekensoccer or going to www.mlssoccer.com/videos/get-me-in-there.
For more information on Heineken's involvement with soccer, follow along on Twitter, @HeinekenSoccer, visit the Heineken Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Heineken, and check out the official MLS Heineken Rivalry Week website at HeinekenRivalryWeek.com.
About HEINEKEN USA
HEINEKEN USA Inc., the nation's leading upscale beer importer, is a subsidiary of HEINEKEN NV, the world's most international brewer. Core brands imported into the U.S. are Heineken®, the world's most international premium beer brand, the Dos Equis franchise, the Tecate franchise and Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders. HEINEKEN USA also imports Amstel Light, Newcastle Brown Ale, Red Stripe, Sol, Indio, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands. For the latest information on our company and brands, follow us on Twitter @HeinekenUSACorp, or visit HEINEKENUSA.com.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer features 20 clubs throughout the United States and Canada. The 2016 marks the second year of the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of the league, as eight-year agreements with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes have commenced. For more information about MLS, visit MLSsoccer.com.
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