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Brands and the UEFA EURO 2016: A Big Success or Just a Little Offside?

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The Euros has finished for another year, many cheers and tears have been shed (both watching the football as well as playing in our Adido Euro championship), along with many of us firmly believing we’d make a better manager than Roy Hodgson, based on his often questionable starting XI.

With some of the main highlights being the fact Wales got into the semi-finals (we won’t comment on what happened after), brands worked hard to engage fans and capitalise on the event that had every football fan’s attention (or anyone who entered their work sweepstake).

Steve Martin, CEO of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment said of the competition: “The idea of brands pushing the idea of the England team dominating bores consumers as they know the reality has been very different for a while now.” Brands are now having to think outside the box to maintain fan’s enthusiasm for the competition.

We’ve put together our expert panel to give their opinion on what brands were doing to grab attention during this time and if, in our opinion, it worked…

BRand: Carlsberg, official sponsors of the euros



Carlsberg has used a range of tactics to ensure they are seen and heard. Using both online and offline strategies they have ensured that their audience who aren't as digitally-savvy will still notice them - hard not to when you're sat in a branded Carlsberg pub! 

Online however, their efforts are varied. On social, Facebook is where their biggest online audience is, with 2.4 million fans. Their posts differ from branded imagery to videos, which usually gets a response from their audience. Their rate of posting could also be improved. The final was on Sunday and before that they hadn't posted anything in the build up for it on Saturday. This would have been a good opportunity to connect with the audience. 

Over on their other social platforms, their social strategies haven't translated as well, with just 25k Twitter fans and 13k on Instagram. Twitter is very repetitive in the sense they are purely broadcasting the man of the match winners – very little actual engagement with the audience. Along with their main man of the match competition, they are also running another Twitter competition to win 5 BBQs – the perfect food to accompany the football. The only problem is there is little mention of this on their Twitter platform, rather they are promoting this on Facebook. Good attempt however to promote other platforms. 

Carlsberg has a great opportunity to build a social tribe – they sponsor many sporting events, including sponsoring the EUROs since 1988. Together, the two have become synonymous, but they could be doing more to keep themselves front of mind for their existing fans and grabbing the attention of new ones. The brand has created quite a stir with their offline actions, but when bringing this online they seem to just be talking at the fans, rather than a two-way conversation. They are in a good position as they are in the same spaces as their fans (sporting events), but need to capitalise on their unique events rather than simply running generic competitions. 

Rating: 3.5/5

BRAND: Iceland



Iceland went for a tongue-in-cheek approach and have been providing light-hearted commentary throughout the competiton, heavily supporting Iceland. This wasn't really for fans from the UK but they supported this with Twitter competitions for the UK fans. Their Nandos error luckily paid off for them by getting them more attention and didn't deter them from bold tweets to other brands.

The brand made themselves very present on social media during the Icelandic matches, capitilising on what's happening during the game. They have tried to enhance their brand through moment marketing - has it paid off? I would say so. Three core elements to moment marketing is to be there, be quick and be useful. While their tweet faux pas wasn't useful, they were indeed there and quick. Different tweets are gaining attention while others are actually more focused on the brand. 

The only thing to comment on is as soon as Iceland were kicked out, the football tweeting stopped completely, meaning they probably will have lost attention from fans as they will have to go elsewhere for this content. 

Rating: 4/5

BRAND: betfred



The majority of their communications is the same as other betting companies, however from an audience perspective this seems fine as this is the information that people who want to place bets want to see. In addition to posts relating to their company, they also are sharing other amusing posts relating to the Euros which the fans are enjoying and sharing around. 

I think the fans will enjoy the fact they are using former players. While the app is quite unique, I hadn't actually heard about it so therefore didn't use it. 


BRAND: the telegraph



During the match, The Telegraph has done well to present a lot of data quickly, especially for those who were using it to get updates while at work. The post's content varied widely rather than static text updates. Reviewing the information after the match, the page becomes extremely lengthy, especially when viewed on mobile devices. The specific football Twitter account is very useful, as other brands are also posting about different sporting events too. 

Once the game is over, they could do more to help other viewers catch up on the game. They have collected a lot of rich data during the game and could continue to use it or cherry-pick match highlights so users can catch up quickly. Overall, it serves its purpose at the time however the information could be used to help users later too. 


Even though many brands are getting involved, the real buzz is still surrounding the fans, adopting the hashtags, and also being fantastic entertainment. Never change, #cryingwelshfan.



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