In 2011 Carling Black Label partnered with Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Stadium Management to create a fan-focused football fixture so unique, it continues to transcend the way fans interact with the beautiful game.
Some days ago, the brand announced the return of the Carling Black Label Cup, following the cancellation of the 2020 Cup during the planning phase due to the COVID-19 global outbreak.
The pre-season Cup competition was introduced to give fans unprecedented power and influence over the highly contested Soweto Derby, providing football fans with the opportunity to select a starting line-up of their choice.
Each year, fans are introduced to new innovations which allow them to experience the game of football differently. For the 2021 edition fans have been challenged to ‘change the game’ by experiencing ‘your game, your way’; to which Carling Black Label brand director, Arné Rust elaborated on during the launch event:
“As with each Carling Black Label Cup, we will be putting the power in the very capable hands of Champion fans. Supporters of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will select their starting line-up as well as new & exciting game-changers which will certainly amplify their match day experience. What will really set this year’s Cup apart from previous years is that fans will have access to all the game-changers, giving fans even more power and control of the game,” said Rust.
“In addition to selecting the starting line-ups, fans can select the formation they would like the team to play in, their preferred captain, penalty takers, substitutes as well as the man of the match. To further elevate the fan experience, Champion fans will now have access to player performance statistics, rich data and insights on the two teams, made available on the Carling Black Label Cup website. With this kind of knowledge, the brand believes fans will make more informed decisions when selecting their preferred match day squads essentially empowering every one of them to ‘Be the Coach’.” Rust added.
This year, the Carling Cup is set for a 20:00 kick-off on Saturday, July 31. Given various restrictions around gatherings, the brand expressed regret as for the first time in the history of the Cup competition, fans will not be allowed into the stadium.
“Throughout our journey in football, the Carling Cup has been played to a sold out FNB Stadium and as the 12th player on the pitch, the Champion voices in-stadia are at the heart of the game. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be able to allow any fans into the stadium this year, apart from one lucky fan from each team – the selected Champion Coach who will be calling the shots from the dugout of the respective clubs.” said Rust.
As with previous years, two lucky fans, representing Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates respectively, will have an opportunity to become the Champion Coach. People can enter by purchasing a selected Carling Black Label beer and dialling *120*660*unique code#; through the Carling Black label website or by calling in to any of the participating seven African Language Stations.
The contestant will have to answer questions relating to their respective teams before heading to a “selection weekend” where club representatives will participate in the selection of the ultimate Champion Coach. The winning fans will coach their respective teams during training, attend the pre-match briefing and lead their team from the dugout on match day.
The Carling Black Label Cup boasts eight sold out clashes between the Soweto Giants with 11 years of giving Champion fans control over the game. Orlando Pirates has clinched the Cup five times – 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2019; while Kaizer Chiefs were victorious in 2013, 2016 and 2017.