The 2016 UEFA European Championship has finally kicked off! The quadrennial tournament is set to hit record viewership numbers this year, somewhere in the hundreds of millions, and with that comes opportunity to for brands to capitalise on it’s popularity. Here are 7 brands that launched the biggest or most creative Euro 2016 marketing campaigns.
1. Coke and adidas limited edition ClimaCool 1 shoe
In an interesting move, two huge sponsors, Coca-Cola and adidas joined forces and designed a limited edition shoe set for release in conjunction with Euro 2016.
Based on the visual identity of both brands, the futuristic ClimaCool was first released around the 2002 World Cup and it sold out immediately. “It was one of their most sought-after shoes ever introduced,” said Kate Dwyer, group director of worldwide licensing for Coca-Cola.
“This year, adidas Originals is bringing it out of their archives and timing the release to coincide with football fever. We’re excited to collaborate with them again.”
2. Hyundai ‘Football Heaven’ 360 Fandome London
For UK football fans who couldn’t make the pilgrimage to France, global sponsor Hyundai set up a colossal fanzone in the centre of London, which boasts a immersive 360 football experience. The dome features an impressive 91 metre wrap around screen, which will air matches to the 1,000 audience capacity and will be MCed by none other than football legend turned actor, Vinnie Jones. Hyundai have set up similar fanzones in cities all around Europe.
3. Coca-Cola Euro 2016 Giveaway
The Coca-Cola Company, one of the official sponsors of Euro 2016, put the football fans at the centre of it’s ad campaign. They wanted to celebrate the fans’ passion by giving away thousands of tickets to Euro 2016, along with limited edition merchandise and replica match footballs.
While the give away method is nothing innovative, the company says that fan giveaways are a “tried-and-tested sponsorship mechanic” that it will be hoping drives more purchase and brand awareness.
On top of that, Coca-Cola celebrated the host country by releasing a limited edition series of 11 bottles bearing the image of the players of the French Euro 2016 team. Definitely a collectable for any football fanatic!
4. McDonald’s fantasy football
Fastfood giant, McDonalds, has teamed up with UEFA to launch a hugely popular fantasy football league in conjunction with the tournament. Users can sign up through the official Euro 2016 website and create their own team. Each player has (a virtual) €100 million to spend on their players and could win prizes based on how each players perform in the tournament. The game has also spawned the hashtag #EuroFantasy which is gaining millions of mentions all across the globe with fans sharing their tips.
5. Turkish Airlines #MeetEuropesBest
The official airline partner of Euro 2016 launched it’s #MeetEuropesBest campaign – a bid to find Europe’s biggest footie fans and send them on a once in a lifetime trip to a Euro 2016 match.
Turkish Airlines added some star power to the mix, by recruiting French soccer legend, Zinedine Zidane to help find the winning football fanatics. Fans were encouraged to submit pictures and videos with the campaign hashtag, which garnered the company tonnes of social engagement.
Along with their social campaign, Turkish Airlines also took over the most famous street in Paris, the Champs Elysees, and lined the street’s 2 kilometre span in #MeetEuropesBest banners. On top of all that, the airline will also be streaming live broadcasts of all the Euros matches both in airports and as in-flight entertainment on all flights.
The danish brewer have reportedly spent €80 million on their “biggest sports marketing” campaign yet – and that’s not including the €40 million they already doled out to be named an official Euro 2016 partner. With huge bucks spent on advertising online and for the first time, on television, the brewer also aims to capitalise on football’s growth in popularity in Asia.
With that in mind, they have launched “Probably The Best EURO Party ever” – and invite only mega-event in Hong Kong, featuring a social photography sharing, virtual reality experiences, themed food and games that aims to draw football fans and beer lovers alike.
7. Paddy Power – Vive La Bantz
In a somewhat crass, but nonetheless effective PR stunt, the UK bookmakers parked a giant truck outside the Russian embassy prior to the head-to-head match between England and Russia. The truck was emblazoned with a slogan in mock cyrillic saying, “Chat Sh*t, Get Banged” (a nod to the tweet sent by England striker Jamie Vardy last year after he scored in 11 games in a row).
The stunt was intended as a response to the Russian fans “trash talk” in the weeks prior to the match. “Given Mr Putin’s renowned sense of humour, we’re sure he will see the funny side of this. But we will be checking our mail with a Geiger counter, just to be on the safe side,” joked Paul Mallon, head of brand engagement for Paddy Power.
Whether you think it’s a cheap shot, or utter genius, the campaign was a viral hit and was reported on news sites all around Europe.