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5 of the Best Sports Marketing Campaigns of Euro 2020

After an enthralling thirty days of European football, UEFA Euro 2020 has come to a close. So far, the tournament has inspired work from brands including the BBC, ITV, TikTok, Just Eat, BT, Heineken, Ladbrokes and William Hill. Here, Underdog Sports Marketing's Arjun Sharda chooses his favourite 5 marketing campaigns:


1. IKEA launch "Cristiano" water bottle

Everyone will be well aware of the influence Cristiano Ronaldo has in the sporting world. It was suggested that Cristiano knocked $4billion off the market value of Coca-Cola after replacing two bottles of Coca-Cola with a bottle of water, during a Euro 2020 press conference.

As a response, IKEA struck a genius marketing move by taking advantage of the situation to sell more of their famous refillable glass water bottles. IKEA’s marketing team renamed their ‘KORKEN’ reusable glass bottle to ‘CRISTIANO’ and stated the bottle is ‘for water only’.

On IKEA's social media pages, the company published the advert, along with the message “Drink water, sustainably”. A perfect way to turn a viral moment into a stroke of marketing ingenuity.


2. Aldi - Good Swap Bad Swap

ITV has announced the winner of its 'emotional ad competition', offering one brand the chance to win an advertisment spot during the Euro 2020 final. Aldi’s ‘Good Swap Bad Swap Euros’ creative performed best in System1’s emotional analysis by impressing a panel of 1,000 ITV viewers.

The content features commentator Clive Tyldesley analysing a BBQ like he would a football match, which was considered to be the most emotionally engaging and was enjoyed among most audiences.

The five adverts which were in the running for grabbing the spot in the final were Carlsberg’s ‘The Seal’, Gillette’s ‘Gillette X Raheem Sterling – Best Face Forward’, Kopparberg’s ‘To Firsts That Last’ and Ocado’s ‘There’s an Ocado Just for You’, but it was Aldi's tongue in cheek humour that scored the winner.


3. Specsavers: It’s coming home

In their latest eye-catching tactical ad, Specsavers celebrated England’s progress in the Euro’s by constructing a spoof eye test chart, which spelt out ‘It’s coming home’.

Lisa Hale, the head of social at Specsavers, says: “It’s fair to say we and our social media agency, Tangerine, have been having a lot of fun during the Euros so far, combining the Specsavers tone of voice with classic ‘should have’ mishaps like poor refereeing decisions, fouls, missed penalties and some questionable punditry.”

“It all ties back to our overarching strategy, which is to bring the classic ‘should’ve gone to Specsavers’ line to life on social media, increasing brand warmth and likeability. This has come to life throughout the tournament through reactive creative, interruptions and surprise-and-delight opportunities.”


Specsavers once again proved that through humour and well executed social media you don't need to be an official sponsor to be at the heart of the conversation. In fact, sometimes it helps not to be a sponsor!


4. Deliveroo ‘England 'til we dine’

Deliveroo have launched several tactical food campaigns in celebration of the brand's official sponsorship of the England team.

One of which - labelled ‘England 'Til We Dine’, was voiced by comedian Karl Pilkington and takes us around the world with humorous football chants such as, "Our hearts are England crazy, but our mouths are more jalfrezi." The campaign features the likes of Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tyrone Mings, taking their eyes off the ball and turning them to the plate, something I am sure we all find ourselves guilty of half time!

However, ahead of the much-anticipated final between Italy and England, the food delivery app ran a press execution throughout the day. Deliveroo played off classic dishes from the opponent’s cuisine, as well as featuring an in-app order screen with an array of Italian dishes, all arranged to spell out “It’s Coming Home!”


5. McDonald’s: A quarter off for the quarter finals

Whilst we’re on the topic of Deliveroo, McDonalds managed to celebrate England’s progression in the tournament by offering 25% off their entire menu on Saturday 3rd July after reaching the quarter finals.

Euro 2020 was the first European Championships that McDonald's had not been an official sponsor since 1992. However, their 'quarter off for the quarter finals’ is a perfect campaign to cater for the football hungry nation! From rolling back their prices to that of 1996 (when England played Scotland), to increasing percentage-off discounts as the Three Lions sailed through the knockout stages. McDonald’s have been there throughout every step of the coversation, culminating in free food offers the morning after England's final defeat.


McDonald's have made sure that even though they are not an official sponsor, they are able to keep themselves front of mind, by offering topical and relevant offers.

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