Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game Aligns with Soccer Fans
Research revealed that Chipotle customers share a close alignment with Major League Soccer fans. So the brand created Cultivating Youth Soccer, a program that ties back to Chipotle’s “Cultivate a Better World” campaign and leverages its MLS partnership.
The focal point of the program was the 2014 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game, featuring the league’s best young Academy players. The game took place last August at Providence Park in Portland, OR, during AT&T MLS All-Star Week. More than 10,000 fans attended and thousands more tuned in around the globe via live streaming on both ESPN3 and MLSsoccer.com as the Chipotle Homegrown Team faced the Portland Timbers U23s.
Among consumer engagement elements: MLS Partner Club youth soccer recognition programs and coupons for customers wearing MLS gear; free soccer clinics for more than 2,200 youth soccer players in 11 MLS Partner Club markets; and in-restaurant appearances featuring MLS players that signed autographs and rolled burritos for fans. At the MLS All-Star Week Soccer Celebration, Chipotle produced an experiential footprint featuring homegrown MLS stars, autograph signings and the chance for fans to secure tickets to the Chipotle Homegrown Game the following evening.
The program earned upwards of 415 million p.r. impressions, and post-event surveying revealed that two out of three MLS fans were more likely to eat at Chipotle in the future as a result of the sponsorship. Delicious.