The UEFA Champions League Final is the biggest event in European football and was held in London at Wembley Stadium.
ATPI Sports Events was part of the organising team for a two day event for 1,200 Heineken customers who flew into the UK, from all over the world, to enjoy a unique experience, that combined Championship Football with the highlights of London.
ATPI Sports Events has been involved in the organisation of the Heineken event programmes since 2007. The challenge was to provide an expertly planned programme that delivered an amazing guest experience.
In co-operation with Heineken’s sponsoring management agency and the Heineken international sponsoring department, the project began with planning the programme and sourcing potential venues, accommodation and suppliers.
Local knowledge of the host country is critical to programme planning and implementation and the UK team were instrumental in researching and advising on the many different elements of the programme.
An operational hub was set up at the Holiday Inn, Camden Lock, where ATPI Sports Events teams from the UK and Holland, together with their Heineken counterparts and Heineken’s sponsoring agency, managed all elements of the programme to ensure its successful delivery.
Guests from across the globe flew into various London airports and were transported by a fleet of 32 Heineken branded coaches to one of six centrally located London hotels.
A global networking and ‘Welcome to London’ event for all guests was held at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand on the first evening. Guests were each given a personalised invitation to the event on a green tie when they checked into their hotel.
The theme for the event was ‘Untie for the Weekend’ and guests had to wear the tie in order to gain access to the Royal Courts of Justice. Guests walked on the green carpet into the stunning Victorian building, which had been lit with a green ‘wash’ to reinforce the theme. The venue provided guests with a unique blend of history and contemporary culture.
A bespoke bar was built down the centre of the Great Hall with modern furniture and funky tiered food stations on each side, developed and built by Heineken’s event service department. This provided a stunning contrast with the marble mosaic floor.
In the centre was a raised stage with Grand Piano and DJ booth. The renowned jazz pianist Michiel Borstlap freestyled with a DJ throughout the evening giving it a contemporary twist. Guests were then transported back to their hotels ready for the exciting day of football ahead. Prior to attending the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday evening, guests were given the opportunity to enjoy a ‘London Experience’ and visit a number of key London attractions.
Using a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus system the whole experience was personalised by Heineken branded Blue Badge Guides and hostesses, dressed in Heineken hospitality clothing. Guests were provided with transport on personalised trains from Waterloo Station to Wembley Stadium Station, a route not normally operated between the two stations.
Two trains were privately chartered and branded for the event. Hospitality staff, dressed as referees, guided guests as they boarded the trains at Waterloo and, once seated, they enjoyed snacks and refreshments from the on-board Heineken catering staff providing a relaxing start to the journey.
Once at Wembley, guests were able to enjoy the thrills of the game and pre and post match hospitality at Heineken’s hospitality area within the stadium, before being whisked back to their hotels by a regular shuttle of coaches.
The logistics of transporting over 1,000 guests to Wembley for the Final was always going to be a challenging part of the programme. It would have been easy to rely on a fleet of coaches to transport people. But the ATPI team wanted to offer a different experience for Heineken’s guests and the personalised trains provided that ‘added value’ extra.
The overall event was considered a massive success by the client. All arrangements ran smoothly and the total of 1,200 passengers enjoyed a seamless experience watching the football and seeing London’s attractions.
“This was a very high
profile event and we
were delighted with
the way the whole
Helen van Berkel
General Manager, ATPI Corporate
Events / ATPI Sports Events