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Creative

July 10, 2024

Carlsberg x Liverpool FC: How to transform a brand partnership into a tangible experience for customers

Transforming the Carlsberg Lounge at Anfield Stadium to celebrate a multi-decade brand partnership

Continuous

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“The mural was a key part of bringing the partnership to life as a tangible experience for fans. Existing within a physical space that celebrated the brand messages of quality, premium, and heritage.”

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An audience with a Premier League legend, hosted by one of the world’s biggest lager brands. That’s a pretty special match day experience.

So, when Carlsberg asked us to update the wall graphics of their corporate lounge at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium, we saw a chance for a tribute to the two brands’ long-running partnership.

A chance to create an environment that would build anticipation, and amplify the experience for all.

In this article, Nick Howe, CEO of Uniform Group (the family of creative businesses Continuous belongs to) tells the story of how the iconic partnership was brought to life through brand, design, and experience.

Nick Howe, CEO of Uniform Group

“When we took the project on, we were excited because – within the hospitality lounge – there were so many missed opportunities which gave us the room to create something really special,” Nick said.

“At the time, there wasn’t really any sense of history or the relationship between the brand and the club within that space.

“But it was frequently used (by a good mix of people from die-hard Liverpool fans to Carlsberg’s suppliers and business associates) as the place where players’ stories would be brought to life. That was the big draw for them. 

“At half-time, one of the legends would come in and talk with guests about the game from the stage area. 

Inside the transformed Carlsberg Lounge at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool

“So, the stage was a really important piece of that environment.

“We wanted to enhance that moment and make it shareable – and we did that by creating the ‘Liverpool Legends’ mural for its backdrop. 

“It presented the opportunity for the relationship between Carlsberg and Liverpool FC to exist within those moments through art and design. 

“It also prompted guests to take pictures and share them across social media too – which took the brand partnership beyond the lounge, beyond the physical space, and into the social sphere for the rest of the world to interact with as well.

“We actually flew over an incredible muralist from Tokyo, called Dragon76, to help us to create the piece. 

Japanese artist, painter, and muralist, Dragon76, working on the Liverpool Legends mural

“The mural ended up featuring five Liverpool legends emerging from a ‘Carlsberg green’ background, with the iconic line, ‘That calls for a Carlsberg,’ painted across the top, by the side of the club’s badge.

“To make the most of this unique story, we filmed the making of the mural – as well as other parts of the project – and those videos went viral across fan sites and on Carlsberg’s own channels. 

“The mural was a key part of bringing the partnership to life as tangible experience for fans. Existing within a physical space that celebrated the brand messages of quality, premium, and heritage.

“But there were also so many other ‘zones’ within the lounge that celebrated Carlsberg’s relationship with the club.

“I remember there were footballs on display with numbers that marked a certain number of goals within a certain amount of time; there were laces from football boots used to wrap individual artefacts within the lounge; and we also used Carlsberg bottles to create a backlit desk.

“Just little details that added to the overall impact of the lounge. 

“Off the back of the success of the lounge, we were given a second project – ‘The Carlsberg Experience’.

“This was a really quick turn-around project, really ambitious, completely immersive, and it was something Carlsberg hadn’t done before. 

“It involved a 360 degree dome that people on the streets of Liverpool could enter to enjoy a projected display that told the story of Carlsberg’s relationship with football. 

“There was also live entertainment outside the dome where freestyle football tricksters entertained passersby. 

“It was on tour around the city encouraging people to engage and driving footfall to the stadium.

“Both projects showed us the potential of great partnerships.

“You can create something really impactful – especially when you tell the story of the relationship through brand, design, and experience.

If you’d like to learn more about drinks brands and creating impactful and transformative partnerships, read our guide to brand partnerships or get in touch with our team at enquiries@wearecontinuous.net.

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