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EURO 2024 Germany

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Euro 2024: The Sports Marketing Highlights from Week One

As the first round of group games at Euro 2024 wraps up, we delve into which brands stood out and the key sponsorship and marketing trends that have already emerged.

Adidas' Pre-Tournament Victory

This year hasn't been easy for Adidas, especially after losing the German national team kit contract to Nike and reporting its first annual loss in over three decades. However, Euro 2024 has offered a much-needed opportunity for redemption on home soil.

Adidas' 'Hey Jude' advert has struck a chord, with its simple yet effective use of the iconic Beatles tune potentially replacing ‘Sweet Caroline’ as England's new anthem if their Adidas-sponsored stars perform well. This campaign is part of the broader 'You Got This' initiative, showcasing how athletes handle pressure.

In addition to the Bellingham commercial, Adidas made a significant impact with a massive mural of Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at Munich’s Odeonsplatz metro station, reinforcing their message to commuters daily. The brand also reported that its controversial pink Germany kit has become the fastest-selling away shirt in the national team’s history.

The Surge of Chinese Sponsors

Euro 2024's sponsorship lineup prominently features Chinese companies, more than from any other nation. While this isn't entirely new, the trend has continued to grow since Euro 2016.

This year's notable addition is BYD, an automotive manufacturer aiming to boost awareness of its neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) before new European tariffs take effect. The strategy appears effective, with Auto Trader reporting a 69% increase in views of BYD models during the tournament’s opening weekend.

Chinese firms have long been active in sponsoring major sports events, and Euro 2024 further demonstrates their strategy to expand globally amid slower domestic growth.

Mbappe's Influence Beyond the Pitch

The political landscape of Euro 2024 is hard to overlook, with rising far-right movements across Europe and upcoming elections in France and the UK. Amid this, Kylian Mbappe has taken a stand.

Despite his injury in the opening game, Mbappe used his pre-match press conference to call on young French citizens to "vote against extremists." This move aligns with earlier statements by teammate Lilian Thuram, emphasizing unity and opposing divisive politics.

Mbappe, one of the world's top players and a recent Real Madrid signee, continues to wield significant cultural influence. His ability to speak on issues like multiculturalism and diversity, alongside his marketability with brands like Nike and Hublot, marks him as a prominent figure both on and off the field.

Custom Women's Sports Apparel: Tolami Benson's Impact

The spotlight on customized women's sports apparel continues to grow. Taylor Swift's appearance at an NFL game in a custom jacket featuring her boyfriend Travis Kelce's number sparked massive interest, resulting in a licensing deal for designer Kristin Juszczyk.

Similarly, Tolami Benson, Bukayo Saka's girlfriend, caught attention at England's opening game with a customized jacket bearing Saka’s old academy number. While not as widely noted as Swift’s jacket, it received praise from Versus and designer Antonia Bronze.

This trend highlights a market gap for sports teams to better cater to female fans with personalized apparel options, suggesting significant untapped potential in this area.

Premier League Sponsorship Shifts

In Premier League news, sponsorship controversies haven't dampened the allure of the league's central sponsorship assets. Despite Manchester City's legal action over sponsorship rules and scrutiny over Wolves and Crystal Palace’s betting company deals, brands remain eager to partner with the league.

Barclays is reportedly close to renewing its partnership, while Guinness emerges as the new beer partner. Known for its rugby union associations, Guinness aims to expand its reach by aligning with the Premier League, potentially accessing broader audiences than rugby can offer.

This partnership reflects Guinness' growing popularity in the UK and its strategic move to connect with Premier League fans, further diversifying its brand presence.

As Euro 2024 progresses, these marketing stories underscore the dynamic interplay between sports, brands, and cultural moments, shaping the landscape of sports marketing in compelling ways.

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