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Belgian Red Devils Euro 2024

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5 Media Trends for Winning at Sporting Events

With the 2024 European Football Championships in full swing and the Paris Olympics just around the corner, Publicis Groupe and Dynata have unveiled the initial findings of their 'Summer of Sports' survey. Conducted among over 3,000 Belgians, this survey delves into sports expectations for this summer, the motivations behind these expectations, and the ways in which key events will be followed. This data is crucial for brands aiming to craft a successful media strategy.

While events like Roland Garros (followed by 24% of respondents) and the European Athletics Championships (14.9% of respondents) are notable, the European Football Championship and the Olympic Games remain the pinnacle of summer sports. At the European Football Championship, live matches featuring the Red Devils captivate a wide audience of heavy, medium, and light followers (79% of all tournament followers), far surpassing interest in other matches, even the final, if the Red Devils are not playing.

As the initial phase of the study wraps up, Publicis Groupe and Dynata highlight two major insights: the Motivation Identity Map, which helps advertisers understand the unique appeal of each event, and key trends in media consumption for these top events.

Motivation Identity Map: A Qualitative Analysis of Sports Events

The Motivation Identity Map centers on six core motivations for following sports events, derived from an analysis of online qualitative data from 432 respondents. These motivations are:

1. Social Cohesion: The sense of community sports create.

2. National Pride: A sense of pride in representing Belgium.

3. Sports Discovery: The thrill of discovering new sports or athletes.

4. Entertainment: The enjoyment of sports as an entertainment product.

5. Personal Connection: Deep personal memories and empathy.

6. Achievement: The excitement of witnessing exceptional sports performances.

In the quantitative phase, these motivations were further explored with 1,962 respondents who will follow at least one of the 12 events surveyed during the 2024 Summer of Sports. This approach allows Publicis Groupe to map and compare different events, offering advertisers a tool to make more informed sports partnership decisions beyond reach, audiences, and ROI.

The Olympics excel in Sports Discovery and Achievement, while the men's European Football Championship shines in Social Cohesion, National Pride, and Entertainment. This makes the European Football Championship particularly appealing for brands that value national identity or offer products and services that thrive on social engagement.

5 Media Trends for Gaining an Edge

From analyzing media consumption habits of followers of the Summer of Sports' peak events, five key trends have emerged. These insights reveal which media types and brands are most relevant for followers of the European Football Championship and the Olympic Games, covering live matches, summaries, special moments, and human interest stories.

1. Local Rights Holders Have a Home Advantage: VRT and RTBF brands dominate across almost all media types for live match consumption, especially attracting Light Occasionals—people who typically don't follow sports but do during major events.

2. Live Viewing Remains at the Top: Despite minor generational differences, live viewing is the primary way people engage with events. Leading the charge are the Red Devils' matches (79% of European Championship followers) and Belgian athletes (63% of Olympics followers).

3. Television is Still King: For live viewing, summaries, and news, TV remains the top medium. Advertising during sports content on TV is significantly better evaluated than traditional TV ads. However, for younger audiences (18-34), video streaming and social media are also gaining traction.

4. Social Media's Rising Importance: While Facebook and YouTube are crucial for all age groups, Instagram leads among the 18-34 demographic, with TikTok rapidly growing (51% of followers). Additionally, athlete-driven advertising on social media is rated more favorably than influencer advertising.

5. Differing Momentums for European Football Championship and Olympics: The Olympics attract a broad but fragmented audience across various sports and moments. In contrast, the European Football Championship sees focused attention on Red Devils' matches, offering advertisers more concentrated opportunities.

By understanding these trends and leveraging the insights from the Motivation Identity Map, brands can strategically align their media efforts to maximize engagement and impact during the 2024 Summer of Sports.

Source: UBA Belgium

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