July 21, 2024

It only seems like yesterday that it was the winter of 2022 and we were balancing Black Friday and the Qatar World Cup. Fast forward to now and we’re just days away from the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship in Germany.

Dennis Bergkamp once famously said “Behind every kick of the ball there has to be a thought” and this can be applied to the world of Digital Marketing. International football requires tactics, strategy and, unsurprisingly, goals for teams to progress – and marketing relies on these too.

A Look Back at EURO 2020

With the so-close-but-so-far final against Italy still bruising the ego of Three Lions fans, Euro 2020 also provided some incredible stats for advertisers and marketers alike:

  • Online revenue in the UK fell by 9% while England played during the competition.
  • Euro 2020 was the most digital European Football Championship ever, with 7.5 billion interactions on social media.
  • The top post by official accounts generated 59 million views during the tournament – showing Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer saving Kylian Mbappe’s penalty to send France home.
  • Sales across clothing (36%), snacks (12%), flowers (28%), footballs (105%) and soft drinks (8%) all increased. 


Major Sporting Event Marketing

So, how can you elevate your marketing strategies during these events and make the most of a rich, diverse audience?

It’s not just football that can benefit brands – though the World Cup and European Championships are some of the biggest sporting events across the globe – there’s also Wimbledon, the Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, the Super Bowl and many more sporting feats that span near and far in terms of their reach.

For example, during the 2022 Cricket World Cup in Australia, online food delivery saw a 13% increase in searches and a 20% rise in clicks.

Not only are users increasing their consumption of content and looking for their next purchase, be that takeaway food, team merchandise or something they’ve seen an athlete rocking post-game, throughout these sporting events, but they’re also eager for more news too.

This year will see both the Euros and the Olympics, with events like Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup interspersed – so getting on top of strategy elevation is key.

Marketing strategy for sporting events

Planning a strategy for key calendar events should always include the major sporting events that year – with searches for event-related terms soaring at the beginning of the tournament, as well as CPCs fluctuating, it’s good to be prepared for both organic opportunity and budgetary changes.

Here’s how you can make the most of the tournament or event of your choice within your marketing strategy:

Plan a campaign

Whether you’re choosing to angle toward football, cricket or even the track-and-field joy of the Olympic Games – you should plan a brand campaign around that event.

Using the name of the event (i.e Euro 2024) in your campaign can help to maximise its reach, and allow you to target paid spend on keywords around teams, games or the tournament itself.

Integrate your campaign

Integration is key. If you’ve produced a range of content ahead of time that’s starting to rank, but your Paid Media spend isn’t focused in on achieving good returns from your campaign, or your Paid Social strategy isn’t working alongside what your organic teams are trying to achieve, then the heights you’ll be hitting will be a little subdued.

Integrated strategy  is the best way to get the most return from your invested time and money.

Find targeted interest in your product(s)

A lot of sporting events attract a massive global audience, meaning you can target specific audiences with specific interests alongside that of the event your campaign is working in.

Using keywords related to the event in your campaign can help you to find the most active consumers at the right time. Cost-per-click and clickthrough rate metrics will, as you would expect, fluctuate during the event too, so take advantage of earlier periods where competition may be less.

Nail down your messaging

Integrating your marketing is all well and good, but if you’re integrating while spouting out inconsistent messaging, things aren’t going to go as well as you hoped.

Ensuring you have consistent messaging across all channels can help your campaigns land with impact. Imagine a rondo (a rondo is training method used in football where players form a circle and pass the ball around trying to avoid one or two players in the middle – a little like childhood game piggy-in-the-middle) where the outside circle is all of your tactics and channels and the ball being passed around is your content writer(s). 

Put content in the middle and make sure they’re influencing everything in your campaign with their words. 

Leverage social media

Sport is often a game of opinions, and social media is one of the easiest ways for people to share those opinions in real time. Your audience is likely to be on the major platforms looking to connect with others and share those opinions with likeminded people.

Join in with the conversation by running polls, asking relevant questions and boost your engagement ahead of trying to market to them.


Getting Involved in Major Sporting Events

Marketing via major sporting events can benefit certain types of brands more than others, of course. As previously mentioned, hospitality and supermarkets are likely to see huge benefits during tournaments – but there are plenty of other ways to get involved.

In the past, retail brands have been able to tap into events by offering well-timed offers based on results, kick-off times and memes. World Cups, Euros and other major events traditionally have a huge impact on the economies of sport-fanatic countries – so don’t miss out by thinking it’s not relevant to your brand.


Want to learn more about integrated marketing strategies and how they can benefit your brand? Get in touch with us today.

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