From thrilling wins to crushing losses, it has been an exciting quarter finals at Euro 2016! This week we reflect on some key highlights of the past few days of the tournament in the Livewire Euros Insider.
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Quarter finals draw a crowd
Germany v Italy pulled in the most viewers of all the quarter final games with over 555,000 tuning in. While this viewership pales in comparison to the Ireland matches, the average viewership is in keeping with the quarter final figures for 2012.
Arguably, two of the biggest stories of the tournament were Wales and Iceland’s unexpected success. Unfortunately for Iceland the dream ended but Wales are continuing to take the tournament by storm. The below graph shows the rise in viewership of Welsh games over the course of the tournament.
This is likely to be due to Irish fans turning their support to the Welsh side following our exit but also be to do with the teams they have been playing, such as Belgium who feature multiple star players. Naturally the further along a team gets is the more viewers they will attract.
Match ad breaks= hot property!
Unsurprisingly, non-sponsor brands such as Paddy Power, Betway, Vodafone and Supervalu for example, have been featuring heavily in ad breaks and achieving high reach as a result.
Paddy Power for example, has reached over 2 million viewers with its ad featuring in the breaks during the tournament. Before the Euros kicked off, the betting category was sold out on RTE across many tournament advertising packages, showing the high demand and investment by brands to be a part of the tournament. Paddy Power’s disruptive ‘Scotland’s Euro 2016 Anthem’ creative took a humorous approach, which appears to have worked well as the ad came out on top in a UK study by The Drum and Brave agency measuring consumer reaction to Euros advertising.
The sponsorship stings that feature around all games, as well as pre and post analysis have reached a massive 80% of viewers at least once, across both RTE2 and TV3 so far (albeit split among tournament partners). It does show how powerful the sponsorship stings are in terms of generating exposure from the tournament brands. This reach will be right across Europe and in many parts of the world.
Wales were the big story of the week, with three players as well as the Welsh FA featuring in the most mentioned tweeters of the week. Carlsberg continued its successful social media campaign as the most mentioned tweeter in the last week, as well as the brand’s hashtag #probably becoming one of the most used hashtags across the week. The brand’s SOV across Twitter has been consistently high over the course of the tournament, mostly due to its Man of the Match and Goal of the Round competitions that has kept fans engaged throughout the tournament.
A social media ‘ambush’
Non-sponsor brands have tactically tried to get in on the #Euro2016 Twitter action. Last week we saw Iceland and Ryanair engaging in smart reactive activity on social media, in response to Iceland’s unexpected win. Iceland continued the humorous reactive activity to Iceland’s unexpected rise throughout the match against France, expressing disappointment at the outcome:
This week we also saw brands such as Chicago Town and Club Orange running competitions through Twitter referencing the Euros in some way and generated significant engagement on Twitter. Paddy Power featured too, informing fans of promotions and live tweeting during matches like France v Iceland, engaging fans with humorous tweets and GIFs. The brand is certainly taking advantage of the captive Euros audience.
This kind of activity is a great example of how brands can take capitalise on a sporting moment, make it their own and experience huge impact as a result. Social media is the ideal platform for this type of marketing as it is allows for great reactive content in real-time.
Euros interest remains
While we can see a rise in searches for other sporting events in the last 7 days, mainly GAA to coincide with the weekend’s GAA championship matches, interestingly there was still a rise in Euro 2016 related searches for the fixtures last week. This indicates a continued interest in the tournament, despite Ireland’s exit.
As the tournament edges closer to the final, there has been sustained interest in the tournament, both in terms of viewership and digital interaction. Brands, sponsor and non-sponsors, are continuing to utilise social media as a platform for agility. It is important to note that while tournament and Ireland team sponsors have been active across social media during the course of the tournament, this medium can leave the door open for ‘ambush marketing’ from non-sponsors. However, the key advantage that sponsors have is the ability to engage in 360 degree marketing; from ownership of fan zones, to sponsorship stings around matches, to taking over the Eiffel Tower. It is only sponsors who have access to those exclusive rights and therefore have the ability to bring them much closer to fans.
Next week we will be delivering our final report where we give our verdict on Euro 2016!
Photo credit: Martin Meissner