It’s now just 3 weeks to go till Euro 2016 kicks off in France on Friday 10th June, and while the tournament itself will have some way to go in order to match the still incredible story of Leicester City’s domestic Premier League triumph, the extra home nation interest this year will undoubtedly see passion levels run high once Euro 2016 actually starts.
Summer football events such as the Euros are now also an established part of the marketing and promotion calendar for many brands – for both official sponsors and other companies – so I’ve taken a look at how some of them have so far embraced this opportunity.
It was estimated that the 2014 World Cup contributed £2.5bn to UK consumer spending and it is believed that Euro 2016 will generate a similar amount, with food, drink, retail and betting sectors seeing the greatest benefits. Over 60% of pubs are predicting like for like sales increases of more than 10% through June, with the England v Wales group match on Thursday 16th June unsurprisingly highlighted as a particularly large opportunity.
The nature of big sporting tournaments like Euro 2016 lends itself to a variety of different objectives for brands, in particular:
OFFICIAL SPONSORS: CARLSBERG EARLY PACE-SETTERS
UEFA have 10 official sponsors for Euro 2016; ranging from the usual suspects such as Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonalds to emerging brands which won’t be as familiar to European consumers. These include the Chinese consumer electronics company Hisense and the seemingly aptly named Socar. Socar is actually the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, so in reality this organisation is perhaps not such a natural fit for football tie-ins as Carlsberg for example.
Amongst official sponsors, Carlsberg have certainly been to the fore with their activation plans, with a range of initiatives all following the “if Carlsberg did…” strapline, seemingly both in domestic markets and pan European too.
This week, Carlsberg have been trailing online a new ad campaign starring Marcel Desailly, one of France’s World Cup 98 and Euro 2000 winning heroes. “If Carlsberg Did La Revolution” will undoubtedly feature heavily in June during TV coverage, with many hidden references in there for football geeks as well.
Amongst the standard ticket giveaway competitions, Carlsberg have also been using more creative methods ahead of the tournament in the UK, including Chris Kamara looking at what would happen “if Carlsberg did substitutions” and rewarding generous Tube travellers with tickets to the Euros. Other UK focused campaigns include experiential activity, with Carlsberg rebranding 19 English pubs as the patriotic “The Three Lions”.
Some other selected highlights from official sponsors include:
“UNOFFICIAL” CAMPAIGNS: PREDICT THE WINNER
3 weeks out and it may be a bit early to stock up on essentials like food and drink if planning a barbecue party, but it is the perfect time for more considered purchases to enhance your Euro 2016 viewing pleasure, such as a shiny new TV. And full disclosure here: I did once buy a new TV in time for Euro 2004, so this does actually happen!
However, with governing bodies such as UEFA monitoring and protecting their trademark rights to enhance the aforementioned sponsorship deals, this tends to result in some creative descriptions by the vast majority of brands that are not filling UEFA’s coffers; leading to the use of many generic campaign titles such as the “summer of sport" rather than the trademarked "Euro 2016" or similar.
A couple of good examples here are provided by Currys and Argos, both of whom are offering TV promotions with a prediction element based around "this summer’s big football tournament" (aka Euro 2016).
To the fore on Currys’ homepage is their “Cash for Goals” promotion, backed up by a range of accompanying media both online and offline. This is a deal that Currys have run in similar form during previous summer football tournaments, and means that should you spend over £699 on a TV, Currys are offering £10 cashback for each goal that either England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland score during the tournament.
Customers can pick their team and with more choice amongst British Isles teams than usual, it will certainly be interesting to see if customers patriotically pick their own home nation, or go for another team based on their perceived chances.
Argos are also focusing on upper end TVs by offering customers a chance to win up to £1000 by “picking this summer’s winning football team” when you buy a TV over £700 in their “Go Get Winning” promotion.
Further investigation shows that for those heartened by the Leicester fairytale, you can win £1000 back if you plump for an outsider like Albania or Slovakia (or Northern Ireland/Wales), down to £100 for France, Germany or Spain. An England win, unlikely as it may seem, would net you £250 cashback.
As well as official Euro 2016 sponsors maximising their activity with glossy campaigns and giveaways, plus retailers looking to sell appropriate seasonal products, multi-national sporting events generally also see a few more esoteric tie-ins as well. Expect to see some of these to the fore as the tournament approaches, but as a tasty example, the Amazon listing below provides some food for thought…
Lead blogger and founder of Clear Digital: talking about ecommerce, digital, marketing and media.