Frustrated England football fans will have the opportunity to inspire players themselves through Carlsberg's new £18m World Cup-themed marketing campaign.

Carlsberg UK has revealed to The Grocer that it is investing about £18m 60% of its £30m marketing budget for this year in the Team Talk campaign, which kicks off with on-pack messaging this week.

The heavyweight above-the-line campaign, which will include TV and the brewer's biggest-ever digital campaign, will give consumers the chance to send Carlsberg an inspirational team talk that will be played to the England players at the tournament.

A Carlsberg-branded bus will tour England, visiting supermarkets and stadia, enabling passersby to record a team talk in a TV studio on the coach.

The digital campaign will include a viral element and a tool to upload team talks to YouTube. Meanwhile, in-store, Carlsberg is introducing PoS, price-marked packs, and launching 1,000 chilled dump bins for four-packs to boost impulse sales among commuters.

"This is a really strong money-can't-buy prize," said David Scott, customer marketing director at Carlsberg. "If it was England nil and Germany nil at half time, what would you say in the dressing room? We are bringing the World Cup to life for consumers by giving customers the tools to maximise sales opportunities, whether it's in Sainsbury's, Tesco or the corner shop."

As offical beer of the English team, Carlsberg is the only beer brand that can feature images of the players and the Three Lions crest on its packaging, and Scott said it was making the most of the contract by getting behind the campaign well before the World Cup kicks off in June.

He predicted the World Cup would generate an incremental £84m of take-home beer sales over 2010.

Cross-category promotions would be key, he added. "Our message to beer buyers is that there is a massive opportunity to merchandise beer with complementary categories, such as snacks, curries and pizza. There is now more of an appetite to make this kind of thing happen."