Brand activations-Love them, hate them or walk right past them, they are part and parcel of every major sports event. As the final stages of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 came to a close, the attention shifted towards London and more specifically Trafalgar Square which transformed into the official tournament fan park where official tournament sponsors came alive with activations.
As with every major tournament, sponsors are split into different categories each with a particular set of rights. The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 had two sponsor categories: Official Global Sponsors and Official National Sponsors. The difference? Global sponsors have global activation rights whereas National sponsors can only activate in the host nation.
The brands in the global category are Booking.com, Euronics, GRIFOLS, Heineken, Hisense, Just Eat (Takeaway.com), Walkers, VISA, Volkswagen, adidas, Hublot, Nike and Tik Tok.
The brands in the national category are LinkedIn, Lego, PANDORA, Starling Bank and Gillette Venus.
Surprisingly (or not), only a few brands had activations in the fan park and it was a mixture of global and national sponsors activating. Whether this was down to rights, budgetary constraints, operational challenges or simply execution of existing rights remains uncertain.
All in all, the activation stations were occupied and busy. So how did the brands activate? Let’s review.
VISA-Test your reactions with Team VISA
VISA’s booth presented fans with an opportunity to test their reactions on a screen and could also take a picture with the VISA Player of the Match Award. There was also a spin-to-win activation in the booth however we didn’t get the full details of this activation.
Just Eat-Sofa Striker
The Sofa Striker activation was a smart play on the brand’s key element, football from the comfort of your sofa. But how comfortable is it to try and strike a ball from a bouncy sofa activation? There were some acrobatic attempts on display.
The Doritos #ShowYourSupport video booth experience invited fans to enter a competition where the best celebration won a limited-edition football shirt. Participants had to enter the booth and record themselves celebrating a goal in a branded Doritos background. Sharing the recording the social media was required with the #ShowYourSupport and tagging @DortiosUK. A total of seven shirts were available to be won each day.
Doritos had another activation in the 5-a-side pitches in the fan park where the Back of the Net challenge was set. Fans could try their shooting skills by hitting the ball through the Doritos triangle hole covering the goal.
Lego’s fantastical football activation had four activities for fans to choose from. The Lego build a player activity provided a hands-on experience with the brand’s product. Fans were able to build their own player from Lego blocks. The build a trophy activity is similar to build a player. There was also a header practice and speed challenge where fans could compete against each other on the screen in the activation space.
Starling Bank-Show Your Colours
Starling Bank’s activation was a large painting and drawing canvas that anyone could contribute to. Those who didn’t want to leave their mark on the main canvas could get creative with an individual kit and badge drawing sheet.
Volkswagen’s activation was by far the most popular while visiting the fan park. If you want to draw in the crowds then there’s nothing like free merchandise to lure them in. Fans simply had to queue up, give some details and receive a branded tournament shirt.
Overall, out of 13 global sponsors and five national sponsors only six held activations in the London fan park, four and two respectively. As mentioned earlier, there could be a myriad of reasons why other brands did not activate. For example, Heineken was the only beer sold at the fan park kiosks as well as Walkers (PepsiCo) snacks. When walking around Wembley Stadium fans came across OOH LinkedIn ads across several signs around the area.
Brand activations are an important part of a sponsor’s rights package which at times is the pinnacle of interaction for a brand with a consumer around a major event. When done right, brand activations can help create a meaningful connection between consumers and a brand. After all, activations are not necessarily a point of sale, but rather an experience generator. Regardless, the fan park was a great way to experience the tournament.
*Disclaimer-I didn’t actively take part in any activation and the above are solely observations. The activations are likely to have more elements than the ones described above. Kudos to all brands and agencies involved.