Pepsi taps soccer stars for new UEFA Champions League campaign
In support of an ongoing partnership with the Union of European Football Associations Champions League, Pepsi has enlisted some of the world’s best soccer players to star in a new ad campaign that highlights “the fizz of the brand.”
“This is the seventh year that PepsiCo has a relationship with UEFA,” says Esperanza Teasdale, VP and general manager of PepsiCo’s Hispanic Business Unit. And for its newest supporting campaign, the company set out on a mission of “celebrating the energy and passion of the game with the biggest players,” she says.
There’s no shortage of athletic talent in the “Fizz” campaign, which was announced today in the U.S. Lending star power to the creative are soccer “GOAT” Lionel Messi; reigning FIFA World Cup champ Paul Pogba; UEFA Women’s Championship League winner Shanice van de Sanden; and Borussia Dortmund phenom Jadon Sancho.
Van de Sanden, who currently plays for a team in the German Bundesliga, is the first-ever female player featured in Pepsi’s UEFA-centric advertising, Teasdale confirms.
The soccer-focused campaign will be anchored by a new national TV commercial titled “Fizz to Life.” Cut in both English- and Spanish-language versions, the ad from agency AMV BBDO and directed by Somesuch’s Raine Allen-Miller is set to “Rotate,” an original song commissioned by the brand from pop star Becky G and Grammy-nominated artist Burna Boy.
The custom soundtrack will also be featured in a range of social and digital content, including in a new TikTok Duet challenge that will allow fans to virtually interact side-by-side with their favorite players.
In addition to its TV spot and interactive social content, the new campaign includes a nationwide sweepstakes, point-of-sale imagery at more than 25,000 grocery and convenience store locations, limited edition packaging featuring Messi’s likeness with a QR code-activated augmented reality game, and a “socially distant” UEFA finals viewing party in Los Angeles later this year.
While the “Fizz” campaign is rolling out globally with various local promotional elements, a major sticking point for PepsiCo is the goal of reaching a diverse range of cultures, particularly Hispanic consumers, in the U.S. (That mission has clearly informed the American creative, which uses the brand’s bilingual slogans: “That’s What I Like” in English and “Es Lo Que Quiero” in Spanish.)
“If you just look at Hispanic consumers first, 81% say soccer’s part of my blood,” says Teasdale, who’s bullish on the “continued growth trajectory” of soccer across all demographics in the U.S.—even for foreign leagues like UEFA, which have little to do with the game’s North American presence.
“We’re fortunate that soccer overall has a really strong frame in the U.S.,” she adds, citing everything from the prominence of youth teams to the rise of Major League Soccer.
“Fizz” is the latest campaign in Pepsi and the UEFA’s long-running partnership, which was first inked in 2015 and includes other PepsiCo-owned brands, such as Lay’s and Gatorade. Last year, the deal was extended to mid-decade, set to last until at least the 2023-24 season for the top-tier European men’s league and 2024-25 for the women’s league.