SOURCE: Heineken International

August 11, 2011 11:38 ET

Countdown Begins as Heineken® Unveils Rugby Legends for Rugby World Cup 2011

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - Aug 11, 2011) - With less than one month to go until the Tournament kicks off, premium international beer Heineken® today unveiled six high-profile former international stars, including ex-England captain Will Carling and New Zealand legend Zinzan Brooke, as brand ambassadors for Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.

The ambassadors also include former Welsh number eight Scott Quinnell, Australia's most capped full back Matt Burke, former South African captain Gary Teichmann and renowned Irish centre Rob Henderson.

The ambassadors will support Heineken's new Rugby World Cup 2011 campaign, entitled 'This is the Game,' which focuses on the unwritten code of values implicit in Rugby on and off the pitch, such as sportsmanship and respect, and promotes Heineken as a worldwide partner and official beer of the international Tournament.

The rugby legends will also come together during Rugby World Cup 2011 to film a series of eight light-hearted and off-the-cuff videocasts for Heineken. The short films will focus on their predictions for tournament matches and comment on performances, stories from their own playing careers and a debate on 'The Code,' the unique set of sporting values inherent in Rugby.

The videocasts will be filmed weekly in London from August 30th before culminating with a final film in Auckland ahead of the Rugby World Cup Final on October 23rd. Hosted by Will Carling, they will be available to view on Heineken's YouTube channel and Facebook page, and will be released through social and digital media throughout the Tournament.

Hans Erik Tuijt, Global Brand Activation Manager at Heineken International, said: "Heineken's Rugby World Cup campaign centres on the unwritten code of values in rugby union -- respect, sportsmanship, loyalty and passion, and these six legends embody every one of these values. Heineken is the first brand to bring this type of content to a global audience during Rugby World Cup via social media. With these ex-players and our campaign around 'The Code,' Heineken will bring rugby fans together, demonstrate our credentials as a true fan of the game and become a part of the conversation."

The ambassadors will also participate in media events in their local markets to promote Heineken and the brand's sponsorship of the Tournament.

The lighthearted 'This is the Game' campaign includes a number of 60", 30" and 10" adverts and demonstrate how Rugby elevates itself from the intense physicality on the field to the highest peak of sporting achievement through 'The Code.'

The humorous films bring to life the 'The Code,' by which all fans and players adhere to. Against the background of the narrator declaring 'In this house, we live by a code handed down from warriors of old' and a rousing soundtrack, the adverts feature match footage, fans singing and supporting their teams in the stadium and in the pub, and shots of Rugby's biggest collisions.

The entertaining 10" adverts include an Australian fan giving a cringe-worthy rendition of his national anthem, a Scottish fan dancing a jig and members of the Tongan squad performing the Sipi-Tau, their pre-match challenge.

Hans-Erik Tuijt added: "As a top tier partner of Rugby World Cup 2011, Heineken understands the deep-rooted principles of 'The Code,' and this campaign brings to life the innovative ways in which we reach out to our consumers. No matter how competitive and passionate it gets on the field, Heineken unites Rugby World Cup fans in a spirit of conviviality, sociability and mutual respect afterwards."

Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand will take place from 9th September and runs through until the 23rd October. This is the fourth time that Heineken International has sponsored the quadrennial Rugby World Cup, having been involved in South Africa in 1995, Australia in 2003 and France in 2007. With a cumulative audience of more than four billion TV viewers expected to watch live coverage of the Tournament, Heineken has successfully leveraged the sponsorship to engage a global network of rugby fans.

Watch the 'This is The Game' adverts at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNdajfygU1w

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Heineken's brand ambassadors:

Will Carling
Will Carling, OBE, was a highly successful England Rugby international and captain, who gained 72 caps and lead his country to four Five Nations championships and the runners-up position at Rugby World Cup 1991.

Carling made his debut for England against France in 1988 and subsequently became the youngest captain of England at the age of 22. He lead the side to back-to-back Five Nations Grand Slam victories (1991, 1992), the Final of Rugby World Cup 1991 and a further Grand Slam at the 1995 Five Nations, remaining the country's most successful captain until Martin Johnson's side lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 2003.

Carling played his last international against Wales in March 1997 and, following his retirement, worked as a Rugby media pundit.

Scott Quinnell
Leon Scott Quinnell, is a high regarded former Wales international No.8 and British and Irish Lions tourist, who gained over 50 caps for his country, also captaining the side.

The son of former Welsh international Derek Quinnell and the nephew of legendary fly-half Barry John, Scott Quinnell was introduced to the Game at an early age, joining Llanelli RFC (later the Scarlets) juniors at the age of eight. He played his first representative game for the 1st XV aged 18 and made a further 145 appearances, scoring 32 tries for the club.

Quinnell made his debut for Wales in 1993 against Canada at Cardiff Arms Park. During a nine year period he won 52 caps, scored 11 tries and captained his country on seven occasions.

Quinnell retired from playing the game at the end of the 2004/2005 season and he now works as a Rugby pundit and commentator for Sky Sports' televised matches.

Zinzan Brooke
Zinzan Brooke is considered to be one of the best No.8s ever to have played the game of Rugby.

Born in Waiuku, in the North Island of New Zealand, Brooke played his regional club Rugby for Auckland and was an influential figure in the region's dominance of the NPC (National Provincial Championships) during the 1980s and 1990s (Auckland won the NPC 1st Division eight times across Brooke's 11 years with the club. Brooke also captained the Auckland Blues to consecutive Super 12 championships in 1996 and 1997.

Brooke's test debut for New Zealand came in 1987 against Argentina. He won 58 caps for New Zealand and scored 17 tries in Test matches, then a world record for a forward.

He famously kicked a 47-metre drop goal during a Rugby World Cup 1995 match, one of three he scored in Test matches. Brooke retired from international rugby in 1997 and moved to England, where he played for Harlequins and later coached the side.

Matt Burke
Matt Burke was born in Sydney and started his representative Rugby career at the age of 17, touring the United States and Ireland with the Australian Schoolboys.

Burke was seen as a bright young talent, famed for a free flowing, attacking style of Rugby and made his international test debut in 1993 against South Africa. He was a prolific scorer with the boot and scored some sensational tries, including a memorable 80-metre solo try against New Zealand in 1996. Over a decade, Burke gained 81 caps for the national side. He was part of the Australian side that waltzed to the Rugby World Cup 1999 victory, scoring a massive 25 points in the Final.

Burke remains Australia's most capped full-back and the second-highest scorer in Australian test match rugby behind Michael Lynagh.

Gary Teichmann
Gary Teichmann played No.8 for South Africa in the late 1990s, earning a reputation for humility and fair play throughout the Rugby world.

Born in Gwelo, Rhodesia, Teichmann moved to South Africa with his family aged 11 years. He started his rugby career playing for the University of Natal. He played in three Currie Cup victories in 1992, 1995 and 1996, before the Natal Currie Cup team became the core of the Sharks in Super 12 team.

Teichmann was selected to tour Argentina with South Africa in 1993 but didn't play a full international until 1995, scoring a try in the team's defeat of Wales.

He was appointed captain shortly after and become one of South Africa's most successful captains ever, leading the side to 17 consecutive test match victories in 1997 and 1998, including winning the 1998 Tri-Nations series undefeated. The South African team, with Teichmann at the helm, were considered by many the greatest South African team in history.

Rob Henderson
Robert "Hendo" Henderson played centre for Ireland in the late 1990s and was famed for his natural athletic ability and a fierce aggression on the rugby pitch.

He scored a try on his non-cap Ireland debut against the Barbarians in 1996 and made his full debut against Samoa later that year. Henderson firmly established himself in the Irish starting line-up in the 2000 6 Nations tournament. That year he and Brian O'Driscoll formed an electric centre pairing, the side defeating the French in Paris for the first time in 28 years.

The centre combination of Henderson and O'Driscoll played a vital part in the British and Irish Lions' scintillating first Test win over Australia on the 2001 tour, as the visitors outscored their opponents by four tries to two.

About Heineken
Sold in almost every country in the world, Heineken is the world's leading premium beer brand and New Zealand's number one premium European lager. Heineken has been the official beer of the 1995, 2003, 2007 and now 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup tournaments. A significant percentage of Heineken's global volume is consumed in the major rugby playing nations. Heineken has been the title sponsor of The Heineken Cup - Europe's premier club championship - since 1995 and has been involved in the International IRB Rugby 7s tournament. Additional information is available on http://www.heineken.com/ and http://www.heinekeninternational.com.

About Rugby World Cup 2011
Rugby World Cup is the crown jewel of the sport and a prominent global property - with television coverage of Rugby World Cup 2007 spanning more than 200 territories, reaching a cumulative audience of 4 billion viewers. Rugby World Cup 2011 is being held in New Zealand for the first time since the inaugural event in 1987. Teams representing 20 nations will compete in 48 matches across 12 Host Cities between 9 September and 23 October 2011. The Final will be held at Auckland's historic Eden Park.

See www.rugbyworldcup.com

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