In Marketing Sportivo, Sport Sponsorship

The European Football Championship, commonly referred to as the Euros, is in full swing, as fans from all over the continent gather around their tv screens to cheer on their beloved nations. The competition’s popularity is undeniable, with England’s opening game against Serbia attracting an average audience of 10.5 million people in the UK alone. SportsPro contrasted this statistic with the viewership from England’s opening game at their last international tournament, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as that game drew a peak audience of 8.1 million. This points to the ever growing popularity of football, but also underlines the power of partnering with large sporting events.

Some businesses will read these statistics and will be led to believe that partnering with big football competitions like the Euros is the best option for their brand. However, it is important to conduct a thorough analysis of the pro’s and con’s of sponsoring a month-long tournament like the Euros, in comparison with nearly year-long competitions like MotoGP and Formula 1.

Euros fever: What do you do when the competition ends?

As the aforementioned statistics show, the Euros draw massive audiences and captivate entire nations from June to July. However, when picking which event you’d like to partner with, it is important to consider what it is you want from your partnership… The Euros, and other similar month-long events, offer you the chance to capitalise on the hype surrounding international tournaments, but you mustn’t forget that it does only last a month. When Euros fever wears off after the final on the 14th of July, brands will gain little to no exposure from their partnerships.

Some may read this and suggest that they can follow up on their Euros sponsorship with a similar sort of partnership with other football events, like league football (e.g English Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, etc.). However, the drawback to this lies in the huge drop in viewership in comparison with the Euros- international football tournaments present a truly one of one experience for fans, which league football cannot replicate. In comparison with the 10.5 million audience for the BBC’s coverage of the opening England game, the Premier League’s first 5 league matches this season netted around 8 million viewers in the UK. 

Sponsorship-wise, however, the most attentive reader will certainly not miss the fact that the two initiatives are very different from a marketing standpoint: to sponsor the Euros you only have to partner with one sport property, while you will have to sign a contract with every team if you want exposure on every pitch (as long as you do not partner with the Premier League itself).

Partnering with motorsports offers you and your brand a sense of security, with viewership figures remaining consistent throughout the nearly year-long season. Formula 1 is experiencing monumental, worldwide growth, with Liberty Media Corporation revealing they had cumulative TV viewers of 1.54 billion in 2022. These excellent growth statistics have been driven by the smart marketing of the competition in key markets like the USA, with average viewership in the US increasing from 554k in 2018 to 1.11 million in 2023.

Similarly, MotoGP is also growing rapidly, with the competition seeing a 20% year-over-year audience increase through the first 12 races of the 2023 season. 2023 saw broadcast audiences increasing for every race, highlighting the upwards trajectory that MotoGP is on. At RTR we offer you an entry to partnerships in the ever-growing motorsports world- get in contact today to discuss what works best for you and your brand.

Motorsports are global competitions

Another key factor you must consider when partnering with a sport is its global reach. Whilst the Euros is viewed by fans all over the world, it’s important to note that the competition is taking place in Germany, in turn putting a limit on what brands can get out of their partnerships with the competition. Other month-long tournaments face this a similar issue, as they are often limited to one country/region. This would make the Euros, and other similar competitions, great for brands looking to attack specific markets, however we believe you should always be looking to get the most out of your sponsorships.

Motorsports are truly global competitions, travelling to over 20 countries per season. By partnering with MotoGP or Formula 1, your brand is taken on a journey, being showcased to fans from all over the world. One should also mention the fact motorsport sponsorships offer flexibility, allowing brands to tap in to either regional or global markets. This contrasts with the Euros which limits you exclusively to something more regional. In motorsports you can have your logo attached to liveries for specific races, or you can opt to have your logo travel the world with the sport.

An example of a more targeted approach in motorsport is Heineken’s partnership with Formula 1 and the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Last year the grand prix -of which Heineken was the title sponsor- pulled in 1.3 million viewers in the US alone, representing a great success for Heineken.

The great motorsport atmosphere

Finally, another factor you should consider is what surrounds the competition you wish to partner with. The Euros has undoubtedly served up entertaining matches, which explains the large audiences. However, the competition has unfortunately been tainted by moments of turmoil before some of the matches. In the build up to England’s opening game against Serbia, fans from both countries were involved in a massive brawl in the streets of Gelsenkirchen leaving one police officer and several fans bloodied. Very sad scenes that the wonderful game of football and a great sporting events like the euros certainly do not deserve.

This is simply a microcosm of a wider issue that is fan violence at football games, as studies reveal a correlation between football matches and an increase in acts of violent crime. In Germany, evidence shows that home matches increase acts of assault causing serious injury by 25%. As a brand owner, we feel you need to question whether you wish for your image to be tied to some of the controversies which are common at big football tournaments like the Euros.

Another reason why fan violence should be considered is that if you wish to bring VIP’s/guests to an event, you need to be sure that their experience is perfect. At RTR you can find information on different VIP hospitality packages for race weekends, which guarantee a safe and entertaining day out for you and your guests.

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How does partnering with Motorsports compare with partnering with the Euros?, RTR Sports