Euro 2016 – Who will be the Digital Winners and Losers?

Estimated Reading Time 6 minutes

In a similar trend to the Rugby World Cup which I wrote about in September last year, some of the beneficiaries of Euro 2016 are not directly associated with the tournament. Research by RadiumOne found that 6 of the top 10 brands that people associated with the event in fact had no connection shown below in grey.

Euro 2012 Twitter Timeline

These results suggest that a strong connection with a separate major football event has an impact on others when it comes to recall and that those involved may not have done enough to engage their customers, allowing non-event sponsors to profit. One brand that has been digitally active is Mars who launched their #believe campaign, watched by over 1.6m views and counting.

Another successful campaigns is Adidas’ #FirstNeverFollows, reaching 1.3m views to date. However, it’s inclusion of Uruguay’s Luis Suarez some may argue causes it to lose traction with Euro 2016.

However, there are multiple other brands that have not grasped the opportunity being associated with the tournament presents or have executed their strategy poorly.

Non-sport brands are likely to benefit from this shortfall before and during Euro 2016, with previous international tournaments generating a spike in flat screen TV, soundbar and projector sales. Brands should prioritise their mobile strategies since football has the ability to divide the sexes, with 54% of females more likely to be shopping on a mobile rather than a desktop device during the tournament (Econsultancy).

More than ever before, the competition for second screen share of voice will be crucial to each brand’s ROI, by reinforcing their message when people are most engaged.

Furthermore, a huge market exists within millennials who have a mobile-first mentality and brands need to work hard to reach this increasingly busy demographic. Millennial football fans like to be kept up to date with the sports content via their mobile and an ever increasing amount of this content and interaction takes place on social media.

Social Media

Social media will inevitably play a pivotal role in the success of each brand’s digital marketing strategy. Euro 2012 was the most social on record with 16.5m tweets during Spain’s 4-0 win over Italy, generating 15,358 tweets per minute when the 4th goal was scored (Social Times).

The infographics below shows Twitter engagement broken down by country and key moments during Euro 2012 ( As you can see, despite not reaching the final tweets about England were only surpassed by eventual winners Spain.

Euro 2012 Twitter Timeline

More recently 2014’s FIFA World Cup final attracted 32.1 million tweets (culminating in 618,725 tweets per minute), only surpassed at the time by Germany’s thrashing of host nation Brazil which drew a record 35.6 million tweets, with Mario Gotze’s winner providing 556,499 tweets per minute (digital trends).

Orange have opted to harness engagement this by activating a campaign that will see the colours of the most talked about team on social media each day displayed on the Eiffel tower. Users will even be able to view their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts in a virtual reality museum.

No doubt we are sure to be showered with a wealth of both good and bad activations over the next month or so. There are sure to be thrills, spills, surprising results and the inevitable rollercoaster of emotions that England’s campaign’s generally provide.

The biggest digital winners may end up being those who react to the action on and off the pitch quickest with adidas having a great track record for reactive marketing. Prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup adidas and their agencies mapped out an editorial calendar for the tournament and travelled the world to collate over 1,000 images and in excess of 160 video clips of over 100 adidas sponsored players. They prepared for planned, anticipated and reactive moments in order to be at the forefront of timely content generation using their #allin campaign. If this level of planning has been undertaken for Euro 2016 adidas could once again set the benchmark.

Darren Parsons
Darren is a member of Digital Clarity’s account management team. He has a wide interest and vast experience in sport sponsorship and marketing having worked in the industry for 9 years. Darren keeps up to date with market trends and enjoys facilitating the strategies companies use to digitally enhance their profile and visibility via various platforms.