For once, this is not a joke or pipedream. We have three ‘home’ nations competing in the UEFA European Championship Finals for the first time heightening rivalry and making the tournament potentially even more valuable for brands. But are the official channels the best route to take or are there more cost effective, creative and engaging alternatives? Sporting Mouth’s John Owrid investigates…
The draw for any major tournament is always hotly anticipated by football fans, and none more so than that for the 2016 UEFA European Championship Finals with more nations than ever taking part this year. It has ignited the imagination of British football fans in particular, with three home nations having qualified – England, Wales and Northern Ireland – for the first time, plus near neighbour Ireland also taking part.
France 2016 will take British home nation rivalry to a new level, particularly in light of the draw pitching England and Wales in the same group. More nations and heightened competition within the UK creates arguably the biggest opportunity for brands ever at the Euros. The problem is that the official UEFA sponsorship opportunities are limited and fought over rabidly, with the winners charged huge amounts to take up a slot.
So if you’ve missed out, either through being beaten to it by other brands or because you’ve been priced out of the market, does that mean your Euro 2016 is over even before a ball has been kicked? As far as official sponsorship goes, yes. But is that such a bad thing?
There are so many brands competing for the attention of fans through official channels that your campaign needs to be very special to stand out and many tend to blur into one. Also, official opportunities don’t tend to offer anything particularly creative, and are quite traditional, using TV and pitch-side advertising that fans have become highly adept at tuning out of whether they’re at the match or watching from their sofa. This suggests, therefore, that brands currently aren’t getting the best value for money through the massive spend they are placing via official channels.