For those who don’t know, a large proportion of bars around the country are stuck serving Heineken because that’s how they pay for their beer-tapping equipment and basically stay in business. Being shrewd in business is one thing, pretending to care is totally ridiculous and hypocritical. Isn’t the goal to sell as much beer as possible?
Normally I’d brush this off but ever since Dutch athlete Yuri van Gelder went from being ‘Lord of the Rings’ (his discipline) to ‘Lord of the Drink’ in the Dutch and international media this week for having consumed alcohol and being kicked out of the Olympics for it, it’s time to call Heineken out on their bullshit.
The Dutch have this party tent idea they set up at the Olympics and other major sporting events called the Heineken Holland House: a bigazz orange party tent for the athletes and their fans to have a drink and watch Dutch athletes perform on TV. After a Dutch athlete has a win, they often pop down to the HHH and let people applaud them and probably have a drink as well.
Heineken’s response to the incident was that they don’t sponsor, they only facilitate a place to party. Hello? The Dutch Twitterati published Heineken sponsorship contracts to make their point clear after which the beer giant admitted to not have expressed itself properly – no kidding.
And if that wasn’t stupid enough, beer competitor Grolsch started making puns on Heineken’s slogan “Heerlijk Helder Heineken’ (roughly ‘Delicious Clear Heineken’) using Van Gelder’s name: ‘Heerlijk Van Gelder Heineken’, which sounds similar. And look at how they drove the point home, suggesting Van Gelder drink 0% beer instead (picture).
Back in 2010 Van Gelder was dropped from the Dutch team for the Gymnastics World Championships after he admitted using cocaine. After cleaning up his act, surely training very hard like all athletes and now breaking the rules, he’s been sent home from Rio.
The way Heineken handled its position was lame and attempting to push water to go with your beer as some sort of responsible drinking is super lame.
Heineken, shut up or go home.