|The recent Carlsberg Cup in Hong Kong turned out a huge success with sold out matches and massive media exposure in Hong Kong and several international markets.
For millions of people in Hong Kong, international football over the Lunar New Year means only one thing: the Carlsberg Cup.
Søren Jensen, General Manager of Carlsberg Hong Kong and Mogens Thomsen, Vice President Carlsberg Breweries presents the Best Player Award to Ronaldinho
For the past 17 years, the Carlsberg Cup has been Hong Kong's premier annual international football tournament, enjoying a traditional spot on the local sporting calendar over the Lunar New Year holiday.
In this the year of the Rooster, Carlsberg had even more to crow about with the announcement that five-time world champions Brazil would be making their first ever appearance in Hong Kong for the Carlsberg Cup on 9 February 2005.
To accommodate the massive local interest behind this Hong Kong sporting milestone, Carlsberg and the Hong Kong Football Association changed the traditional four-team tournament format to a winner-take-all clash pitting Brazil against the Hong Kong national team.
The excitement was increased by the fact that Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was capitalising on the rare opportunity to gather his international superstars in one place and bringing nearly all of his top players to Hong Kong.
With Fifa world footballer of the year Ronaldinho, 2002 World Cup captain Cafu, Real Madrid playmaker Roberto Carlos and up and coming soccer sensation Robinho all running out for the squad, Carlsberg's role as one of the top supporters of the global game was further reinforced in Hong Kong.
While the on-pitch challenge of taking on the world's top-ranked football team would prove too much for Hong Kong, the fans at the Hong Kong Stadium were far from disappointed with Brazil's 7 – 1 victory. After the final hooter had sounded, both teams could look back with satisfaction on having provided an entertaining feast of football for the first day of the Lunar New Year.
Brazil in particular treated the crowd to a remarkable display of its famed samba soccer with goals from local favourite and Player of the Match Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos and Robinho. Other scorers for Brazil were Alex, Lucio and Ricardo Oliveira (2). Hong Kong's lone goal was scored by substitute striker Lee Sze Ming, who warmed the hearts of local football fans and earned himself a place in Hong Kong sports history.
Soeren Holm Jensen, General Manager of Carlsberg Hong Kong Limited, comments: "The event was great fun and had enormous promotional value for Carlsberg in the market. The sponsorship enabled us to invite all our key customers and business associates to join us for the match. Finally, the event achieved massive media exposure in Hong Kong as well as several international markets – even CNN showed the match highlights."
With such a display of world class soccer and superstars, Hong Kong consumers will certainly remember Carlsberg for bringing them "probably the best entertainment in the world".