Southgate may have been berated by his mum for not belting the ball, but
no one can accuse marketers of not exploiting Euro ’96.
For the 11 main sponsors - Canon, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Fuji,
Mastercard, JVC, McDonald’s, Philips, Snickers, Vauxhall and Umbro - the
tournament was the focus of this year’s marketing strategy. Each paid
pounds 3.5m for the link and estimates put their related marketing at
another pounds 100m.
As the dust settles at Wembley, the battle for marketing champion is
still being fought. The sponsors may have had their merchandise and
their pitch perimeter ads thrust in front of TV audiences, but other
brands proved effective advertising could link brands to the event at a
much lower cost.
For breakdown service Green Flag, the gamble of backing a flagging
England team with a four-year pounds 4m deal paid off as its logo made
every lead news bulletin and the front page of every national.
Nike’s pounds 500,000 poster campaign through Simons Palmer Clemmow &
Johnson turned out to be far from an own goal, despite griping media
coverage. Its inclusions of teams, players and referees who subsequently
left the picture drew great publicity. The campaign also linked the
brand, traditionally associated with basketball and tennis, to football.
Now the football boots are back in the locker, we asked four groups to
give their opinion on marketing around the event.
The industry body
Roy Mantle, head of PR and sponsorship for Guinness Brewing GB and
chairman of the sponsorship action group at ISBA: ‘There has been an
awful lot of clutter and it is difficult to stampÿ20brand authority on it.
The media encourage guerrilla campaigns because they run anything. They
could maybe help official sponsors by saying they will only promote
The official sponsors
Spokesman for bookmaker Ladbrokes: ‘The tournament has turned out to be
the biggest betting event in Britain, with total turnover of pounds 80m
across the industry.’
Spokeswoman for official soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola: ‘We wanted
to act as sponsor, not just slap our name on the event. With sponsorship
we actually give something back to the sport and to the consumer.’
Mara Heffler, senior vice-president global sponsorship, for official
credit card MasterCard: ‘There is no doubt in any of our minds there has
been a significant increase in brand awareness.’
James Kydd, marketing director for Virgin Cola, which ran a pounds
100,000 press campaign: ‘In terms of value for money we did brilliantly.
At least we had a sense of humour about it all.’
Paul Simpson, editor, soccer magazine FourFourTwo: ‘I’m not sure how
much notice matchgoers took of the sponsors, although I suspect sponsors
were aiming at a TV audience. I didn’t see people ordering lots of
Victorious Green Flag
Green Flag signed a pounds 4m deal to sponsor the England team’s
training kit at the beginning of last year, to last until after the
World Cup in 1998. Although not an official sponsor, a spokesman for the
company believes its involvement in the tournament, as part of the
ongoing investment, paid off.
‘As we were not an official sponsor we couldn’t be on the boards or use
the logo in advertising. But our logo was more closely associated with
the team. The sponsorship was of the people rather than the event.
‘Every time a player was photographed, our logo was there. We set up
shots but others, such as Terry Venables driving away from Bisham Abbey
for the last time, were just lucky.’
This article was first published on Marketing