Support from the FMCG industry for the #ThreeLions has me less than impressed…
As the sporting calendar is so close to my own heart, having both played and followed sports my whole life, it has naturally occurred that my blog writing for Cirkle has become synonymous with this passion – and I couldn’t ignore the UEFA Euro’s 2016!
Kicking off this Friday, Premier League managers may have predicted that England will bring football home this year, but it is once again easy for the players to become overwhelmed by the occasion. This I argue is due to the less than supportive coverage they receive from the British media and the growing trend for brands to jump on the sport partnership bandwagon whether relevant or not.
We are used to heartache and disappointment when it comes to England and footballing competitions, so why does the nation build up such hope and positivity in the anticipation that England might actually win this thing?
The Euro’s has snuck up on football fans for a number of reasons, including the threat of terrorism reducing the amount of coverage compared to other years and the lack of imaginative brand support in the run-up. There has been no #Hakerena style marketing campaign or #SamsungSchoolOfFootball to evoke excitement from non-football fans, like there was for the Rugby World Cup last September, only traditional promotions from the obvious big-dogs such as Coca Cola, Doritos and Pringles.
Although brands may not have taken full advantage this year, Mars is the standout with its £4.1m #Believe campaign and the aim of galvanising the nation’s support of the England football team, including activity across TV, cinema and digital, even renaming their chocolate bars with the hashtag. Social activity includes challenging fans to Tweet their ‘singing selfies’ to ignite the passion in football fans in the lead up to and during the event acting as the twelfth man, which can make all the difference between disappointment and elation in France.
The Euros are particularly exciting for the out of home channel with pubs up and down the country expecting an influx of customers as they visit the outlet with friends to watch England succeed. Carlsberg has launched a new ale in support of the pub channel, called Three Lions which will be available to licensees throughout the tournament. The brand has also launched an online film, If Carlsberg did substitutions: Pessimism for Optimism, encouraging punters to get behind the Three Lions despite the disappointment of previous years (and Gareth Southgate would thank us for not mentioning the last huge football competition in France).
Roy Hodgson has put his faith in the young boys this year and I for one hope their performance on the pitch surpasses that by the feeble attempts by brands in the lead-up. Bring it home for us boys, we #Believe.