Carlsberg has always been everyone’s favorite football mate. Nothing makes a game more exciting than having an ice-cold Carlsberg sitting next to you on your favorite sports bar as you scream at the top of your lungs to cheer your team on, right?
Carlsberg decided to take the title of being a great football mate to new heights by giving the winners of its recent Play on Pitch competition the trip of a lifetime to experience football like never before. 10 lucky Malaysians were treated like football stars at Stade de Lyon, France, the official venue of the UEFA EURO 2016™ Semi-final.
The Hero’s Welcome
When you’re an international football star, you get VVIP treatment – and Carlsberg gave the Play on Pitch winners just that. The VVIP access to the exclusive UEFA Club Lounge where guests were served ice cold Carlsberg and gourmet meals was only the beginning in their day in the life of a football star. The winners also got to spend the entire afternoon taking on former footballers in numerous stations set up on the pitch and meet former Danish legendary goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, and the F2 Freestylers, YouTube’s football freestyler sensations.
The Best Seat in the House
The real football fever began when the winners watched Portugal lock horns with Wales at the Semi-final. It was such a surreal experience that got the winners immersed in the energy, passion and intensity of UEFA EURO 2016™ Semi-final match! With the most exclusive seats and the best vantage point, the winners cheered on as the eventual champions Portugal overcame Wales in a hard fought victory.
UEFA EURO 2016™ – All-access special and Play on Pitch experience
When Carlsberg promised an all-access experience to the UEFA EURO 2016™, they really meant it. The following day, the winners were again brought to the stadium via the players’ special entrance. Upon arrival at the stadium, they were greeted by cheerleaders and were then ushered to the same locker rooms used by the Portugal and Wales national teams to change into their football jerseys and customized gears. This time they were given a unique and rare experience – to play on the pitch of Stade de Lyon – the very same pitch where Portugal triumphed over Wales the night before.
Before entering the arena via the players’ tunnel, their names were called one by one by public address system and were introduced individually on the giant screens in the stadium as if they were real football players being given a true football hero’s welcome onto the pitch.
An Encounter with the Legends
Living the football dream – the winners were welcomed by international legends such as David James, Claude Makelele, Marcel Desailly, Peter Schmeichel, Christian Karembeu, Steve McManaman and the F2 Freestylers on the pitch. All the winners had a chance to pit their football skills against these football legends and even picked up a few neat tricks from the masters of their favourite sport. Clinking glasses of Carlsberg with legends at the hospitality area, the experience was completed with massage therapy and refreshments!
The football rush didn’t end there – winners were hosted by Peter Schmeichel himself at the exclusive gala dinner at the La Plateforme Boat Restaurant on the scenic Rhone River. Mingling further with the legends over dinner, the winning team of Play on Pitch earlier that day were given footballs signed by various football legends.
Probably the best trip of a lifetime
An all-expense paid trip to Lyon, VVIP football star treatment, being able to play on the same pitch of the semi-final and a chance of a lifetime meeting real football superstars – what more can a die-hard football fan ask for? The exclusive experience, unparalleled privilege and unforgettable football fever were some of the things that truly made the trip memorable to the winners.
Doctor Ling Shih Gang, one of the Carlsberg Play on Pitch winners said, “I have always been a football fan since my childhood. I never thought I’d be given a chance to watch the UEFA EURO 2016™ live but Carlsberg made it happen for me! This is a dream that I never dared dream before! Not only that, they gave me the football star treatment, where I got to play on the Lyon stadium pitch with football legends – on the same pitch where the Portugal and Wales played.”
“Being treated as the football star was probably the most amazing experience so far. From the eventful entrance to the stadium, accessing the actual locker rooms, showing our names on the screen and playing on pitch with the football legends – it was all a dream come true!” said winner Chew Fook Yuen.
“Being at the stadium and watching the semi-final live was a spectacular experience as compared to simply watching it on TV. I was touched by the passion and motivation given by the Wales fans although their team did not make it to the final championship. I learned that the team might have lost the game but their spirits never die! Now I appreciate and see football as a legacy sport that can be inherited from a generation to another generation,” said Denise Ng.
Luckiest Malaysian meets Man of the Match
For one lucky Malaysian, Reuben Kang, famous YouTuber collaborating with Carlsberg to document the trip, Cristiano Ronaldo winning Man of the Match wasn’t the highlight of the match between Portugal and Wales. It was him meeting Ronaldo in person and having a photograph together. All this was made possible by Carlsberg. “The experience was amazing! Meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo was probably the best moment in my life!” Kang exclaimed
“We are very happy and proud to have brought this kind of experience to Malaysians – truly, it is something that money can’t buy. And Carlsberg is probably the only brand that can give this kind of once-in-a-lifetime football experience. We have always been about doing it better for the fans – just like how we constantly strive to make probably the best beer in the world. This whole Play on Pitch experience once again attests to that promise, “said Lars Lehmann, Carlsberg Malaysia’s Managing Director.
To discover more about the Play on Pitch winners’ experience, head over to Carlsberg Malaysia’s Facebook page to watch the exciting videos.