An amateur sim racer makes headlines by achieving the unthinkable: defeating the three-time F1 World Champion Max Verstappen in an exhilarating twist at the Heineken Player 0.0 finale.
This global showdown, amidst the historic walls of Heineken's first brewery in Amsterdam, marks a new era for sim racing. The Heineken Player 0.0 campaign is an exciting gaming initiative that Heineken and Verstappen developed, to create a new virtual racing experience for fans culminated in winning gamers getting to race against Max himself.
The Player 0.0 initiative is part of Heineken's global responsible consumption platform, When You Drive, Never Drink, which was conceived to champion responsible consumption, expanding to new audiences in the world of virtual racing. Underscoring that the best drivers are those who choose not to drink. In a gripping 14-lap battle at the sim racing Zandvoort circuit, the amateurs' razor-thin victory margin electrified the audience, highlighting the campaign's competitive spirit.
The global showdown featured fierce competitors; being the local winners from tournaments held in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and the Netherlands, all culminating in a tense finale against Verstappen. Yet, in a stunning display of tenacity, it was Floris Wijers, an amateur racer from The Netherlands who seized the spotlight, proving that determination and skill know no bounds.
Rob van Griensven, Director Global Digital Heineken - "The win for the amateur racer today at the Player 0.0 final is more than just a victory; it's a perfect showcase of our campaign's spirit.
“It blends global racing talent with our message of responsible consumption which has made this campaign a global success. We're excited about how this sets the stage for next season, promising even more thrilling experiences for fans and a continued emphasis on enjoying responsibly".
Verstappen shared: ""Competing against such passionate racers was a unique opportunity to share my passion for the sport with race fans. It's inspiring to see how Player 0.0 brings together diverse talents united by a commitment to safe driving, and hopefully will be an inspiration for anyone looking to get into racing."
As the 2023 sim racing season concludes on a high note, Heineken sets the stage for an even more thrilling 2024 season. Expanding Player 0.0's global footprint and reinforcing its commitment to promoting responsible consumption through innovative platforms, while leveraging its motorsports partnerships on a global scale.
Since entering the world of motorsport in 2016, Heineken has been committed to real change around attitudes towards drink driving and re-launched their 'When You Drive, Never Drink' campaign back in May 2022. Heineken will continue to innovate through their marketing campaigns with F1, with their 2023 'When You Drive, Never Drink' creative 'The Best Driver' launching earlier this year.
On top of this, Heineken has committed to investing 10%+ of all media budgets to support responsible consumption programmes.