CAMPAIGNS: Nationwide gets shirty at Euro 2000 - Sponsorship

Client: Nationwide Building Society

PR Team: Ptarmigan Consultants

Campaign: Giant England shirt

Timescale: May - June 2000

Budget: pounds 70,000

The Nationwide Building Society is the sponsor of the England football

team. In the run-up to the Euro 2000 Championships in June 2000,

Nationwide wanted to position itself as the England team's 'biggest


Rather than trying to compete with other sponsors using the tournament

itself to promote their brands, Nationwide chose to run a PR campaign

during the six-week build-up to the tournament.


To position Nationwide as the team's 'biggest supporter' and to dominate

media coverage of England's sponsorship.

Nationwide also wanted the campaign to involve fans and double

spontaneous awareness of Nationwide as the England team sponsor.

Ptarmigan had to achieve media coverage valued at at least double the

cost of the campaign.

Strategy and Plan

Ptarmigan decided to produce an England shirt which measured 60ft by

90ft and was branded with the Nationwide logo and 'Come on England'.

Roadshows in May and early June immediately prior to Euro 2000 were

planned so fans and celebrities could sign the shirt with their good

luck messages to the team.

A launch release promoted then England boss Kevin Keegan's backing for

the initiative and called on all England fans to sign the shirt at the


Ptarmigan also used Keegan's Euro 2000 squad announcement to hold the

launch photocall and carried out a ring-round to all the national and

key regional media on the morning of the photocall.

For the roadshows, Ptarmigan devised a programme of activity

co-ordinated by a professional PA who could reinforce the campaign

message, as well as encouraging participation in the activities. Former

England players Nobby Stiles, Ray Wilkins, Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher

and Jimmy Greaves took part in photocalls and gave interviews. The

players signed autographs and added their signatures to the shirt.

Promotional staff in Nationwide-branded outfits handed out 'I'm backing

England Nationwide' stickers to visitors and a free prize draw was held

to win tickets to either the England v Ukraine or England v Brazil


At the latter game, which was broadcast by Sky, the giant shirt was

placed on the centre circle.

Ptarmigan also approached celebrities to lend their support and arranged

a good luck message from Tony Blair. The shirt was finally put on

permanent display in the media centre, at Keegan's first tournament

press conference in the town of Spa, Belgium.

Measurement and Evaluation

Media coverage was evaluated using Cutting Edge and research was carried

out by Sports Marketing Papertrack to compare coverage of other Euro

2000 sponsors. Independent research by RSL was also undertaken to

discover awareness of Nationwide as the team sponsor.


Ptarmigan's campaign met all its objectives. Coverage was achieved in

all target media and research confirmed that Nationwide received more

coverage in the run-up to Euro 2000 than any of the other sponsors.

More than 10,000 signatures and good luck messages were put on the shirt

and more than 300,000 people saw the shirt at the roadshows. Research

revealed that awarenss of Nationwide as the England sponsor more than


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